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New U.S. citizen Frankie Luvu determined to help sponsor his parents

Frankie Luvu - Free Agency Portrait - 16950482

Some important paperwork in Frankie Luvu's life looks a little different this May as compared to last. For one, he works for the Washington Commanders now. The other is a distinction with special implications that go beyond his status as an athlete: Luvu is now a U.S. citizen.

Big changes on paper, but not for the linebacker's day-to-day.

"Honestly not much has changed since getting my citizenship," Luvu admitted.

In Luvu's eyes, the most significant duty and honor that can come with his citizenship status has not even fully been realized. In fact, the work is only just beginning. In what he calls the "biggest reason" for pursuing the status, Luvu wants to sponsor his parents so they can become U.S. citizens.


Luvu was born on a group of islands over 7,000 miles away from the D.C. called American Samoa. Those born on this U.S. territory are considered nationals at birth but not citizens, which means, among other things, they do not have full protection of their rights like U.S. citizens do. For American Samoans who live and work in the U.S. (like Luvu and many of his seven siblings do), acquiring American citizenship unlocks a lot of impactful rights and privileges.

Luvu's journey towards U.S. citizenship actually began with one of those siblings, his oldest brother Frazier Luvu.

"I felt like that was my twin," Frankie Luvu told WSOC-TV in 2021. "Everything he did, I wanted to be like him."

Frazier Luvu was in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship when he committed suicide in 2021. Frankie Luvu knew that he'd do whatever possible to step up and accomplish what his brother set out to achieve.

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"My older brother, he applied for it, but then I took over and kind of carried that role," Luvu said. "To finish it for him and for my family was a big thing."

Gaining U.S. citizenship required tons of hard work and countless hours of studying for Luvu. Athletic trainers at the Carolina Panthers would pepper him with rapid-fire questions about the First Amendment and the House of Representatives in between workout reps. All that grinding paid off last August when Luvu officially became an American citizen.

"Finished what Big Bro started," he wrote on Instagram after his naturalization ceremony.

Now, Luvu is able to vote, hold public office and serve on a jury. Most important to him though, the linebacker has made it easier for his parents Veresa and Faaloiloia to become citizens. The two, Luvu recalls humbly, worked hard and sacrificed a lot for the eight kids. To be in a position to give back to his parents now means the world to him.

"The reason I do what I do is for them," Luvu said. "Being able to make that happen for my parents would be a blessing."

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