Chung calls out NFL
Eugene Chung has a plethora of experience in the National Football League as both a player and a coach, but has never been given the opportunity to be a head coach. On Thursday, he dropped a bombshell in a webinar that would shock the football world and have everyone talking.
“It was said to me, ‘Well, you’re really not a minority,'” Chung said, according to The Boston Globe. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute. The last time I checked, when I looked in the mirror and brushed my teeth, I was a minority.'”
Chung was in the process of interviewing for an NFL coaching position. He then asked the interviewer to explain the statement that was made and was told that he was “not the right minority that we’re looking for.”
Chung has had quite the extensive career as an offensive tackle. He was drafted 13th overall in the 1992 Draft by the New England Patriots, but was snapped up in the 1995 NFL expansion draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to the Globe, Chung was the first ever Asian-American to be drafted in the opening round of an NFL Draft.
Along with the Patriots and the Jaguars, he also spent time playing with the Tampa Bay Storm, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles before calling it a career.
“I asked about it, and as soon as the backtracking started, I was like, ‘Oh no, no, no, no, no, you said it. Now that it’s out there, let’s talk about it,'” Chung said, according to the Globe. “It was absolutely mind-blowing to me that, in 2021, something like that is actually a narrative.”
Chung would give in to questions regarding which team he was interviewing for as he refused to name the team that was responsible for the comments. He made it quite clear on the webinar that he wasn’t trying to make the league look bad but wanted to shed light on the issue.
“I’m not sitting here bashing the league at all, because there are great mentors and there are great coaches that embrace the difference,” Chung said. “It’s just when the Asians don’t fit the narrative, that’s where my stomach churns a little bit.”
After his playing career, Chung was hired as an assistant offensive line coach by the Philadelphia Eagles from 2010-2012, before moving on to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. He ultimately returned to the Eagles in 2016 though, but being let go in 2019.
Chung has been out of the league since, but hasn’t given up hope on coaching in the NFL again in the near future.
“For me, in this profession, I don’t think I’m looked at as a minority,” Chung said, according to the newspaper. “Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know.”
It remains to be seen whether the NFL will address Chung’s comments, but they are not very favourable for the league or its image. It will be interesting to see whether Chung’s comments hinder his chances of coaching in the league again.