Congressman Faleomavaega today offered his personal condolences to family and friends who are mourning the passing of Junior Seau earlier this morning. Junior Seau played in the National Football League (NFL) for almost 20 years.
Junior was raised in American Samoa as a child until his family returned to California. He attended Oceanside High School and after graduation played for the University of Southern California. In the 1990 NFL Draft, Junior was drafted in the First Round and 5th Overall Pick by the San Diego Chargers.
Junior played in 12 consecutive Pro Bowls from 1991-2002 and was selected All-Pro 6 times in his career. He led the Chargers to their first ever Super Bowl appearance in 1995 and he was a member of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. In his NFL career, Junior played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots.
Junior Seau is the son of Tiaina Seau, Sr. of the village of Aunu’u and Luisa Mauga of the village of Aoa.
“It is a very sad time for not only the national sports world but also for our Polynesian community,” said Faleomavaega. “We have lost a Samoan brother who was an icon in football and a pioneer for many of our Polynesian sons who are in the National Football League today.”
“Junior was not only recognized as an athlete and an entertainer but a humanitarian and supporter for those who needed help the most. Even as he continued to succeed in football, Junior worked tirelessly to help troubled youth and those in need. I recall attending a White House ceremony in 2005 when President George W. Bush awarded Junior with the President’s Volunteer of the Year Award for his work in helping the youth through the Junior Seau Foundation.”
“He supported and contributed to our Samoan community in Southern California. Junior was so popular that he even had a television show on a national network channel. Junior was an ambassador for Asian and Pacific Americans and through his success he was able to broaden the public’s understanding and appreciation of our Polynesian cultures.”
“I pray that God comforts those who are mourning the passing of a great Samoan warrior. Our thoughts and prayers are with Junior’s parents and family during this tragic moment,” concluded Faleomavaega.
(L): Congressman Faleomavaega and Afioga i le Maoputasi Mauga with Junior Seau during a community event in Oceanside, California, June 2006, celebrating the relationship between American Samoa and Oceanside as sister-cities.
(R): Congressman Faleomavaega and Junior Seau with then Rep. Tuifaleamato Robert Tagovailoa (left) and Rep. Su’a Alex Jennings (2nd from right) pictured outside of the White House when they attended the White House celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2005.