This entire saga started when former Pro Bowl DB turned ESPN analyst Ryan Clark decided to harshly criticize Tua Tagovailoa’s body of work in the offseason — or rather, the lack thereof, in Clark’s opinion. The former Pittsburgh Steelers star even went as far as saying that the Miami Dolphins star quarterback looked like a stripper in what many consider to be an uncalled-for jab from the broadcaster.
Tua Tagovailoa Claps Back at Ryan Clark’s Unsavory Criticism
Tua Tagovailoa caught wind of the slander and he wasn’t pleased at all. The Dolphins QB clapped back at Clark by demanding that the former NFL defensive back keep his name out of Clark’s mouth:
“My background, I come from a Samoan family. Respect is everything. But it does get to a point where, hey, a little easy on that buddy. I think we’re pretty tough-minded people. And if we need to get scrappy, we can get scrappy, too,” Tagovailoa said (h/t Safid Deen of USA TODAY).
“I’m not someone to talk about myself the entire time, but it takes a lot. You think I wanted to build all this muscle? To some extent, I wanted to be a little lighter. There’s a mixture of things that people don’t understand that people don’t know about that are talked about behind the scenes.
“I’d appreciate if you kept my name out your mouth, that’s what I’d say.”
Needless to say, Tua did not appreciate the nature of Clark’s harsh criticism.
Ryan Clark Apologizes to Tua Tagovailoa
Clark took a lot of slack for his unfiltered shot at Tagovailoa and at this point, it is clear that the one-time Super Bowl champion has realized the fault in his actions. The 43-year-old took to Twitter on Thursday to send a heartfelt apology to Tua, the Dolphins organization, as well as to head coach Mike McDaniel:
“If I’ve offended you Tua, if I’ve hurt you, if I’ve disrespected you, if anybody that supports you and loves you feels some sort of way because of what I said, I truly apologize,” Clark said (h/t Chantz Martin of Fox News).
“… The constant criticisms, the constant scrutiny, constantly being questioned. Feeling the stress of always having to prove yourself just to show people you can be available. And then you work throughout the entire offseason, which I talked to his trainer, and [he] said ‘That man was in there three times a day to build himself up to be healthy. And you got to hear a comment like this?’ So, I get it.”
“I get it, because I do want to respect Tua Tagovailoa. I get it because I want his respect, too. So, to the Miami Dolphins, to head coach Mike McDaniel, who I have a ton of respect for, but most of all to Tua Tagovailoa and his family, I deeply apologize.”
When I decided to do TV I had 2 main priorities.
1. Respect all NFL players, coaches, executives and staff members.
2. Earn and keep the respect of those very same people.
Those priorities are important to me, and when I miss that mark, I have to hold myself accountable.… pic.twitter.com/YgZfcNPN8G
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) August 24, 2023
Clark clearly regrets his statement against Tagovailoa, and he’s now come out to take full responsibility for his actions. You have to give credit to Clark for humbling himself down and apologizing for what he now understands to be a major mistake. Then again, it would have been much better if he hadn’t come out with such a controversial statement in the first place.
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