Eugene Chung, an NFL coaching candidate, claims that interviewers told him he was “not the right minority.”
Eugene Chung, a former NFL offensive lineman and current assistant coach, has amassed quite a resume since joining the league in 1992. As an assistant coach, the former first-round pick was named to the All-Rookie team, paved the way for great players, and recently earned a Super Bowl ring.
Chung was told he didn’t quite match the “minority” model that a particular team was looking for despite having strong qualifications and applying for a head coaching position as a minority candidate. Despite the fact that he is a minority, one team told him that he is “not the right minority.”
Chung, who is of Korean origin, was just the third Asian-American to play professional football in the United States at the time. When the New England Patriots picked him 13th overall in the 1992 NFL Draft, he became the first Korean American to be chosen in the first round.
Chung, 51, joined Olympic figure skater Alex Shibutani and ESPN’s Michele Steele on a webinar on Thursday to discuss life as an Asian American athlete. Chung said he interviewed for a head coaching job this offseason and was taken aback by one interviewer’s response.
“It was said to me, ‘Well, you’re just not in the minority,’” Chung said on The Boston Globe’s webinar. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute,'” she says. I was in the minority the last time I checked, when I looked in the mirror and brushed my teeth.’ “What do you mean I’m not a minority?” I wondered.
The interviewer then told Chung, “You are not the right minority we’re looking for.”
Chung explained, “That’s when I knew what the story was.” “I was physically paralyzed for a split second after being swept away. I asked myself, ‘Did I hear that correctly?’”
Chung didn’t say which NFL team this interview was with, but that the person interviewing him began backtracking.
“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. It was absolutely mind-blowing to me that in 2021, something like that is actually a narrative.”
Chung was a standout lineman at Virginia Tech for legendary coach Frank Beamer, and then he became. This is a brief summary.