At a press conference on Wednesday, Mendenhall said teaching him how to play football will be an "adventure." " According to Mendenhall, assistant coach Steve Kaufusi discovered Langi while he was playing a pickup basketball game in Tonga two years ago.
"He just saw a giant body who's light on his feet and can change direction and loved working out and training," Mendenhall said.
The JACL statement in full: The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is disturbed by HBO’s decision to air a new Australian “mockumentary” comedy series, “Jonah from Tonga.” In the series, a white Australian actor, Chris Lilley, performs in brown makeup and a wig to depict Jonah, a young Tongan teen living in Australia.
Jonah and his Tongan peers are portrayed as disrespectful, aggressive, and delinquent.
First in a three-part series Vai Sikahema tried to warn him.
An agent representing Jose Canseco, the former Major League Baseball slugger, called to propose a boxing match between Sikahema and Canseco.
He had been taught to weather blows to get inside, then pummel the body and unload that left hook. Sikahema knew a defeat would risk his considerable popularity in a fight town like Philly, but he wasn't worried.
If he appeared overmatched to most observers, his victory would be considered that much better.
There was one other thing they didn't know: His father had trained him specifically to fight big men, because he knew all his opponents would be bigger than his son. Channel 10 — Sikahema's employer — ran special half-hour programs on the bout.Yet the juvenile and crude characterizations in “Jonah from Tonga” only reveal Lilley’s deep ignorance and disrespect for the Tongan people.Whether the content of this series is acceptable elsewhere, it is an affront to the sensibilities of American audiences who understand that honoring diversity implies a healthy respect for the dignity of all cultures.Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division.World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division.