Tua Tagovailoa didn’t want to talk about the Miami Dolphins’ win over the Carolina Panthers right away on Sunday.
The Dolphins' quarterback, after taking one question from reporters following Miami's 42-21 victory, brought up the deadly conflict in Israel.
“I kind of want to also bring to the attention, like, I didn’t really realize how bad things were in Israel,” Tagovailoa said. “I just wanted to bring to attention for those who don’t necessarily understand things that are going on that it really is bad. If you don’t understand, if you go on Google, you look, you search and you read about what is going on in this world, this world needs prayer.
“I don’t know what we’ve come to, but just my thoughts, my prayers are out there with those people in Israel. I know there’s the Ukraine and Russia war still going on as well, and I just wanted to bring notice that, although we have the freedom to do this here, play football and be able to have the freedom to do these things, that to come back into reality and think that’s where we all are in this world. I just wanted to bring that to the attention. Hopefully we can all come together and pray for the kids, the children, the wives, the women, the men that are putting themselves out there every day for those unfortunate events that are happening right now.”
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, launched a surprise attack on Israel last week, which reignited the deadly conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that has been going on for decades. Israel has since declared war on the group and started retaliation.
As of Sunday night, according to The New York Times, more than 1,300 people had been killed in Hamas’ attack, including at least 29 Americans. At least 2,670 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed in the conflict, and nearly 10,000 have been wounded. There are also fears of a growing humanitarian crisis in the region after Israel cut off food, water and other supplies.
Tagovailoa is far from the only one in the NFL who has spoken out since the conflict began. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke about it on CNBC last week, as did former Patriots star Tom Brady and the league itself. At least 14 teams put out statements, too, as have plenty of other figures and organizations throughout the sports world.