Eugene Chung is blowing the whistle on an NFL team after he says he was told he was “not the right minority” while interviewing for an NFL coaching job this offseason.
“It was said to me, ‘Well, you’re really not a minority,'” Chung said during a webinar Thursday, according to The Boston Globe, adding, “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.'”
The former NFL offensive lineman and assistant coach asked the interviewer to explain and was told he was “not the right minority that we’re looking for.”
Chung did not identify the team.
“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.”
“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.”
The 51-year-old played five seasons in the NFL, appearing in 55 career games for the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts. Once his career was over, he served as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, though he hasn’t held a position since being let go by the Eagles after the 2019 season.
“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.”