ESPN’s bizarre response to Alabama star Tua’s abuse story

The revelation that Tua Tagovailoa was beaten with a belt by his father was cringe-worthy. ESPN’s reactions to the admission were equally surprising, laughing and joking about such a sensitive topic.

The sensational Alabama quarterback revealed the abuse in an offhanded matter, saying during a close-up piece by Tom Rinaldi that his father, Galu, would hit him with a belt if he had a poor game or got a bad grade.

“If I don’t perform well or perform the way I’m supposed to, I’m going to get it after,” Tagovailoa says in the “College GameDay” segment.

He was asked to clarify what “get it” meant.

“Just know that the belt was involved, and other things were involved as well,” Tagovailoa says. “And it’s almost the same as school. If I don’t get this grade, I don’t get this grade, I’m going to have to suffer the consequences.”

Galu smiled and laughed as he recalled the discipline.

“I was tough,” Galu said. “He can go 15-for-15 with four touchdowns. But when he throws a pick, it’s the worst game, it’s the worst game.”

ESPN and Rinaldi did not push back on the child-rearing tactics, which some see as reprehensible and others see as effective parenting.

But other ESPN voices apparently endorsed the abuse, as the “GameDay” crew made light of it.

“I saw that his dad was like the Hawaiian version of Joe Jackson, there’s no way Alabama’s going to lose that game, cause out comes that belt!” former NFL star Desmond Howard said, referring to the Jackson family patriarch who was hounded with abuse allegations.

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