After his Miami Dolphins suffered their first defeat of the season Sunday, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said recalling Bible verses motivates him to keep going. The 25-year-old admitted that losing to the Buffalo Bills 48-20 was “humbling” but said his Christian upbringing and God’s Word “keeps me encouraged in continuing to press forward, especially in times like this.”
The Oct. 1 defeat, leaving the Dolphins with a 3-1 record, came one week after Miami’s historic 70-20 win over the Denver Broncos.
Tagovailoa, who suffered two concussions last season, has been outspoken about his faith since his college days at Alabama. He’s also been vocal about his Samoan culture, which reveres family, faith, and respect.
Tua Tagovailoa: Playing on Sundays Is Tough
During Sunday’s post-game press conference, a reporter asked Tagovailoa how his faith affects his approach to football. The quarterback replied, “I think the best thing about being a believer of Jesus Christ…is that the good Lord up above doesn’t care whether you win a game, whether you lose a game.” He continued, “For me it’s been a little tough having to play on Sundays…having to watch church online after games.”
But Tagovailoa acknowledged the benefits of being a Christian in pro football. “Allowing me this platform…to me is the best thing in the world, to be able to profess my faith, something that I firmly believe in, something that’s been foundationally instilled in me at a young age.”
The quarterback, who wears eye black in the shape of crosses, said he prays before heading onto the field for offensive series. “I’m on a sideline, looks like I’m talking to myself, speaking in tongues. Some people think ‘What, this guy knows how to speak in tongues?’”
Tagovailoa grew up in a nondenominational Christian church. He credited that background with providing a firm foundation and allowing him to handle whatever football throws his way.
Miami Dolphins QB: My Faith ‘Keeps Me Motivated’
After a Dolphins’ victory on Sept. 10, Tagovailoa referenced Matthew 19:26 during an on-field interview. “First and foremost, I’d just like to give all the glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” he told a CBS reporter. “Without him, nothing is possible for me.”
Tagovailoa, who grew up in Hawaii, is raising funds to “Help Heal Maui” after last month’s devastating wildfires. His father, Galu Tagovailoa, said Samoan culture is “all about giving back” and “being obedient.”