Tua Tagovailoa's Dad Used the "Bible and Belt" Approach to Raising the Football Star

Tua Tagovailoa revealed that his father forced him to throw with his left hand and beat him with a belt when he failed at football or with his grades.

Anna Quintana - Author

Apr. 28 2021, Updated 5:10 p.m. ET

tua tagovailoa
Source: Getty

There is no denying that Tua Tagovailoa, who has suffered many injuries playing football, will make it to the NFL and he credits his dad Galu for his success on the field. 

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However, Tua's upbringing has left many fans conflicted about the approach the Hawaiian-born Galu used to "coach" his son. When Tua was nominated for the Heisman Trophy last year, ESPN aired a special about the father-son duo, and Tua opened up about his childhood.

Tua Tagovailoa's dad used the "Bible and the belt" approach to enforce discipline.

"Two things in a Tagovailoa is your faith and your discipline. It’s simple,” Tua's dad Galu told the network, before Tua's mom, Diane, added, "He means the Bible and the belt. You gotta work, son. You gotta do better. The evaluation from dad is the most honest.”

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Source: Instagram

Not only did the parents reference their use of a belt on their son, but Tua's father also revealed that he forced his son to throw with his left hand because he, himself, was a leftie. 


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As expected, fans were shocked by the revelations and called out Tua's dad for his overbearing approach to parenting. 

"Tua is an incredible talent and somehow seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but that is the absolutely worst type of youth sports parent," one viewer tweeted at the time. Another added, "Did I just hear correctly, @CollegeGameDay just showed a piece saying Tua’s dad beat him for throwing interceptions?!? I don’t care if that method makes my son millions in the NFL... that’s bad parenting and not worth it."

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A third simply chimed in, "Tua's dad = Hawaiian Lavar Ball." TBH, not even Lavar Ball was that bad.

Will Tua's dad be with him at the NFL draft?

Tua stats include more than 7,400 passing yards and 87 touchdown passes as a quarterback for Alabama. Unfortunately, his college career came to an end in 2019 after suffering a hip injury at the Mississippi State game. 

However, he's still expected to be a top pick in the NFL draft. 

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“We would like to thank all of the Alabama family and everyone across the world for the prayers and outpouring of love and support for our son and our family,” the Tagovailoas said in a statement following his injury. "We felt the unceasing prayer, and words can’t express how overwhelming and uplifting that has been for us... God’s grace, mercy, love and faithfulness in our lives has never been more evident, despite this setback."

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Source: Getty
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Despite the controversy, the Tagovailoa family is very close and Tua's dad — who made the decision for him to sign with Alabama — will be right next to him when he gets the call on Draft Day. 

"I'm excited. I'm super excited for this. This has been a dream of mine, my entire life and this has been my family's dream as well," Tua told Complex of the NFL draft. "And they get to at least live this dream through me and well, what a awesome opportunity that I have. You know, that I have family members that look up to me whether they're old or younger and I can also pave the way for a lot of them in this sense."

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And he credits his dad for his leadership skills. "I would say it does come from my family, but I mean most importantly it comes from my dad with the talks that I have with my dad a lot of alone time with him," he added. "I mean just a lot of things that I learned from him." 

Expect to see the Tagovailoas cheering Tua on in the stands for whatever NFL team he ends up on. 

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