ESPN’s Ryan Clark Apologizes for Body-Shaming Tua Tagovailoa

Clark said he was sorry for a "bad joke" comparing the QB to a stripper

Tua Tagovailoa of the Dolphins jogs onto the field.
Tua Tagovailoa's physical fitness has been called into question.
Wesley Hitt/Getty

A day after being told by Tua Tagovailoa to keep the Dolphins quarterback’s name out of his mouth, ESPN’s Ryan Clark has issued an apology to Miami’s signal-caller for body-shaming him and comparing the lower half of his figure to a stripper’s bottom end.

Specifically, Clark was apologizing for mocking what the fourth-year quarterback did to improve his body during the offseason and likening the thickness of his backside to the rump of a dancer at an Atlanta gentleman’s club. “Let me tell you what he wasn’t doing: He wasn’t in the gym, I’ll bet you that,” Clark said. “He might spend a lot of time in the tattoo parlor. He was not at the dinner table eating what the nutritionist had advised. He looks happy. He is thick. He’s built like the girls working at Onyx right now on the bottom.”

Tagovailoa was obviously made aware of the remark and fired back at Clark, who hasn’t played in the NFL for nearly a decade. “I don’t know. Ryan’s been out of the league for a long time. I don’t know. It’s a little weird when other people are talking about other people, when they’re not that person,” Tagovailoa said. “I come from a Samoan family, like, respect is everything. But, you know, it does get to a point where, ‘Hey, a little easy on that buddy.’ I think we’re pretty tough-minded people, but if we need to get scrappy, we can get scrappy. Just saying.”

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Clark apparently has no interest in getting “scrappy” with Tagovailoa and issued a lengthy apology on Thursday via his social media account.

“If I’ve offended you, Tua, if I hurt you, if I disrespected you, if anybody that supports and love you feels some sort of way because of what I said, I truly apologize,” Clark said in part. “To Tua Tagovailoa and his family, I deeply apologize. I’ve reached out. I hope to talk to you soon, brother. But just know, I wasn’t questioning the way you work. I wasn’t questioning how much it mattered to you. It was what I can consider now a bad joke. But, for me, it’s been a lesson. I’ll be better.”

It’s nice that Clark attempted to cool down the situation by apologizing for his scorching hot take about Tagovailoa’s hindquarters and hopefully the concussion-prone quarterback will accept. If Clark really wants to make amends, he probably owes the dancers at Onyx an apology as well.

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