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“My Dad Was Born in a Camp”: Super Bowl Champion Scott Fujita Reflects on World War II’s Impact on His Japanese Family

Yagya Bhargava

"My Dad Was Born in a Camp": Super Bowl Champion Scott Fujita Reflects on World War II's Impact on His Japanese Family

Scott Fujita is widely known as a former NFL linebacker, a Super Bowl champion, and an 11-year veteran. But many may not realize the weight behind the name on the back of his jersey—”Fujita”—and the pain and sacrifices his family endured for it during World War II.

In a recent YouTube video by NFL Network, the spotlight shone on Fujita’s family history and the challenges they faced. Growing up, Scott heard references to “life in a camp,” and he knew that his adoptive Japanese-American father was born in a camp. But the topic wasn’t openly discussed. Only as he grew older did he learn more about their experiences.

His grandparents made the difficult choice to marry so they wouldn’t be separated after the Pearl Harbor attacks. They were then forced to relocate to a camp in northwestern Wyoming, housing 10,000 other Japanese Americans under the guise of “safety.” Scott visited the site with his father to truly grasp how his family survived.

Witnessing the reality of those conditions through his father’s lens made him realize the immense pain and daily struggles his family and so many others endured to survive. His grandfather, who saw his own people imprisoned, still volunteered to fight for the country as part of the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team, proving his love for America.

After examining these hardships, Scott felt compelled to share this important story of his family fighting an unimaginable battle and emerging stronger. He understood why it was so difficult for his parents to discuss, as such memories carry a heavy emotional weight.

Looking out over the land that held thousands of citizens, Scott Fujita urged people to learn from past mistakes, reflecting, “There were so many lives changed, so much strength shown, and lessons we have yet to fully understand.”

Scott Fujita’s Father Reflects Upon the Reason Behind Adopting His Adoption

Scott Fujita’s story is one that defies conventional norms and celebrates the beauty of a chosen family. While not biologically related to his parents, Rod and Helen, the former NFL star was wholeheartedly embraced by their Japanese-American heritage.

“My wife and I were not able to have children. So, the alternative was to adopt,” Rod shared, his words carrying the warmth of a parent’s unconditional love, transcending bloodlines.

For the former New Orleans Saints LB, this adoption was a profound gift. As a child, he reveled in the rich traditions of his cultural roots, his identity molded by the Fujita family’s resilient legacy. Though his features differed from the neighborhood’s Japanese families, this uniqueness became a point of pride, a tapestry woven from two worlds.

The Fujitas chose to open their hearts, and Scott chose to embrace that love wholeheartedly, allowing it to shape his very essence.

Post Edited By:Samnur Reza

About the author

Yagya Bhargava

Yagya Bhargava


Yagya Bhargava is a Senior Writer at The Sports Rush and has been following the NFL over an year. He transitioned from being a chef to sports journalism due to his profound love for sports. With over 200 articles with The Sports Rush, he has previously delved into various US sports, including basketball, baseball, and golf. Yagya, with a sports passion and keen writing eye, thrives in delivering sports news that's not just captivating but also accurate. He embraces the competitive spirit, having played football at the National level.

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