HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Today offensive lineman Kevin Mawae became just the second Polynesian and first Native Hawaiian football player inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Today the former New York Jets and Tennessee Titans center was one of eight players to receive the gold jacket alongside the Class of 2019 which included Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law, Ed Reed and Johnny Robinson.
Mawae, of Hawaiian descent, was raised in Louisiana while his father grew up on Kauai.
During the pre-enshrinement festivities Mawae reflected on his Polynesian heritage and what it meat to him as a player and a person.
“It’s who I am,” said Mawae. “It’s who my dad brought me up to be, the first Kanaka Maoli to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and I’m proud of my heritage.”
Mawae played 16 seasons in the NFL (1994-2009) and played in 241 games as an offensive lineman making the all decade team of the 2000′s and eight prow bowls throughout his career.
Junior Seau, of Samoan decent was the first Polynesian to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2015.