Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Opens in Oahu

By Joe Kukura


Image courtesy of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame




The world is discovering what Polynesians already know—that Samoans, Tongans, Fijians and Hawaiians are some of the finest football players in the world. There are more than 60 Polynesian players in the NFL these days, with more arriving each year. The quiet legacy of Polynesian football players is proudly acknowledged at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, a showcase for the generations of Polynesian athletes from the tiny South Pacific islands who’ve made big names for themselves around the sports world.

The warrior spirit of Polynesia lives on in these football players, many of whom were the first Polynesian global superstars of the modern era. These mountain-sized men are known for their fearsome and legendary performance on the football field, but also their commitment to serving as outstanding fathers and community role models off the field.  

Located at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, on the northern end of Oahu, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame is packed with memorable and fascinating exhibits on its inductees and other groundbreaking Polynesian football players. Visitors can dive deep into these players’ life stories with photos, memorabilia and even the very helmets and jerseys these players wore in certain classic games. Other interactive displays include video highlights of the inductees’ celebrated careers and a Wall of Honor that weaves these players’ legacies into a magnificent display of Polynesian art and culture.

The 2015 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame class includes San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl champion Jesse Sapolu, Pro Bowl running back Mosi Tatupu and three-time Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl champion Mark Tuinei. They joined 2014 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame inductees Kevin Mawae, the “Throwin’ Samoan” Jack Thompson and the late, great Junior Seau.

Plenty of promising Samoan players currently in NCAA and NFL football figure to someday find themselves in this Hall of Fame. Samoan-blooded Troy Polamalu just retired from a memorable 16-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. All-star defensive tackle Haloti Ngata continues to play at a Pro Bowl level each year. We’re all excited to see the NFL career of Marcus Mariota, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft and 2014 Polynesian college football player of the year. All of these players are known for their high moral character and community involvement off the field.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is already one of the most visited places in Hawaii, and this attraction is just another great reason to stop by and explore it.

Football means the world to Polynesians, and football has shown the world the strength and determination of Pacific Islanders. Come to the Hall of Fame to see this history and feel its inspiration firsthand. General admission is free. And make plans to attend the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend 2016, scheduled for Jan. 29 to 30, 2016, at—where else?—the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

This article is brought to you by the Polynesian Cultural Center—all of Polynesia in one place. Click here to register for tours, luaus and special packages. Book tickets 10 days in advance and receive 10 percent off!