An NFL prospect has apologised for comments he made in a video in which he says Polynesians dating each other is considered taboo.
Danny Shelton is expected to be called up in this week's American National Football League first draft, set to be announced tomorrow.
The 21-year-old, from a Samoan family, is a college football player at the University of Washington (in Seattle) and has proven to be hugely popular with fans.
However, he is facing a backlash from the Pacific and Samoan community after comments he made were posted online last week. In the clip, he discusses dating and the fact he has never been out with a Samoan or Polynesian girl out of fear they may be related.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"You sit there with your girl and she starts talking about family stuff and then all of a sudden she says a name that you know and all of a sudden it's like: 'Oh s***, we might be related'." His comments about Polynesian couples being "taboo" have been of particular concern - with people from around the world blasting Shelton on social media sites.
"Just the thought of people dating the same culture, Polynesians dating other Polynesians. You never see it nowadays. It's always been kind of like ... a taboo type of thing. You don't see people dating the same race," he said.
A second video was posted 24 hours later of Shelton apologising to fans.
New Zealand-based Polynesian women's magazine, SUGA, had more than 200,000 views on its Facebook page after it posted a link on its website, which was viewed 50,000 times. Editor Cecilia Sagote said the majority of feedback was of disappointment and anger.