The Athletic

The Athletic

On the late April evening when he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa and his entire family wore leis, a tribute to the family’s Polynesian culture. When Tagovailoa arrived at Hard Rock Stadium to make his first NFL start in November, he sported a floral button-up with an ie faitaga around his waist and a kukui lei around his neck.

During life’s biggest moments, Tagovailoa has remembered and honored his diverse background and heritage by donning the lei, a necklace commonly presented upon arriving or leaving as a symbol of affection in Polynesian culture.

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