Eugene Chung says NFL team told him he’s “not the right minority” in job interview

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Former NFL player and assistant coach Eugene Chung says he was told in a job interview with an NFL team this offseason that he is “not the right minority” for the league to hire.

“It was said to me, ‘Well, you’re really not a minority,’” Chung told the Boston Globe.

Chung, an Asian-American whose parents are both Korean, said he challenged the interviewer.

“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 said. “So I was like, ‘What do you mean I’m not a minority?’ ”

The interviewer responded, “You are not the right minority we’re looking for.”

Chung, who did not identify the team or the person conducting the interview, felt that being Asian-American was going to be a detriment to his chances of getting the job.

“That’s when I realized what the narrative was,” Chung said. “I was blown away, emotionally paralyzed for a split second. I asked myself, ‘Did I hear that correctly?’”

Chung was a first-round pick of the Patriots in the 1992 NFL draft and also played for the Jaguars and Colts. His coaching career has included stints on the staffs of the Eagles and Chiefs. He said he has had good experiences in the NFL, but that he questions whether teams are interested in increasing the representation of Asian-Americans in football.

“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.”

91 responses to “Eugene Chung says NFL team told him he’s “not the right minority” in job interview

  1. Hatred toward Asian-Americans is racism, plain and simple. It has been exacerbated by regressives who callously refer to covid19 as the “China flu” or the “Wuhan virus”. The flames of hate are further fanned by xenophobic descriptions of Chinese and other Asian people as being our “enemies”.

  2. See what happens when you placate to satisfy others…….now you have a whole other image concern.

  3. Really his race shouldnt make a difference if he gets the job or not should be based on his qualifications. Being a minority should not help or hurt his chances.

  4. “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 said. “So I was like, ‘What do you mean I’m not a minority?’ ”

    The interviewer responded, “You are not the right minority we’re looking for.”
    ——————
    Seems like BS. If this actually happened and you want to make change then blast the name/organization who said it not protect then by not identifying. Hes likely hoping this gets him sympathy and a job.

  5. This is what happens when we deviate from looking for the best possible candidates, and focus on things like what the candidates look like. If Eugene is a good candidate, it shouldn’t matter what his ethnicity is. And if he isnt a good candidate, then the interviewer shouldn’t use such a lame crutch to disqualify him.

  6. Either the NFL did a terrible job defining “minority” when it put in the new draft incentives last year, or someone’s front office has a really skewed interpretation of said rules.

    Either way, it’s obvious that’s what the unnamed team is after–future draft picks if/when their minority coaches move on, not the best possible coaches today.

    Teams are gaming the system, and the NFL is worse off for it. And anyone who says they didn’t see this coming is a liar.

  7. This is a little hard to believe. But if it did happen, he should tell the nfl and they should force fire the executive and fine and penalize the team draft picks. No room for this stuff at all, if its true.

  8. It should never matter what race anybody is. Being a good coach is all that should matter in the nfl…

  9. Dez Bryant called out Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins. Chung should do the same.

  10. Goodell needs to be all over this and Chung is gonna need to name names.

  11. For someone to say that to him is without question wrong. Using it as motivation to do better and be better at what the job requires is the way to go. He can appreciate his achievement once that happens that much more.

  12. Shouldn’t be a narrative to begin with. Shouldn’t be trying to hire minorities and women just to say you did so. hire the best applicant. if you’re not good enough then you need to work harder, learn more, gain experience at the college level. if you are good enough and deserving… then congratulations. sounds like he is perfectly fine getting hired just bcuz of he is a minority and not bcuz he is the best option, but its not fair that he isn’t filling the the right quota.

  13. Similar to Art Shell having to correct reporter that he was not first minority HC. Tom Flores was, etc.

  14. if there is any truth to this then why not air out the team and the specific employee who said this…

  15. I’m not Asian or any other minority I can think of, but that made MY stomach churn too. That’s just stupidity if accurate. We can do better, folks!

  16. We’re all people. We all get coronavirus and cancer etc I’m so sick of racism from every direction. Treat others kindly, please.

  17. Definitely in the conversation of the Patriots memorable first round misses. As the 13th overall pick, he usually gets my vote. The next 3 years however, produced Bledsoe, McGinest and Law.

  18. The NFL is more concerned about checking boxes then they are hiring the best person for the job regardless of race, sex or religion.

  19. All the comments that race shouldn’t matter and the best person should be hired are nice, but not reality.

    It’s difficult to justify a league that primarily employs African Americans as players, where performance is much easier to quantify, so under-employs them as coaches, where performance is much more nebulous; especially outside the head coach.

    The comment itself, that he’s the “wrong kind of minority” simply confirms that racism is an issue.

  20. Kinda hard to believe especially now with so much attention being given to Asian and Pacific Islander folks.

  21. I remember when persons were hired simply because they were the best candidate for the job.

  22. The NFL is legendary when it comes to their hiring practices. In no other industry in this country are new hires based on family ties and former relationships as frequently and routinely as they are in the NFL. So for all of you posting “the best person should get the job.” Yes! Totally! But that’s not what happens.

    So the topic of diversity hires is always on the front burner because the NFL always resorts to its hiring practices. Hire who you know. That’s why the NFL is littered with retread hires and staffs with son’s who can’t play or couldn’t get hired on their own merits.

  23. If this did in fact occur …..

    I am willing to bet that it was a California team. This is a perfect example of the effects of Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action.

  24. At least the interviewer was honest what quota they were trying to fill. I guess it’s right, it’s not ability, it’s about the certain race quota our weird society has put in place. So sad.

  25. “Kinda hard to believe especially now with so much attention being given to Asian and Pacific Islander folks.”

    Attention? You mean the numerous random assaults against Asians that have been happening recently?

  26. I mean, I feel like he should definitely be putting this person/team on blast. Why would he hide who it is? It’s unacceptable and they need to be held accountable.

  27. I see many comments about Chung “should go public” and that is not even practical unless he is satisfied that his NFL career is over. Going public with team and executive name will get him blackballed immediately. Yes, that is not fair but it is the reality of the situation. Would I like to know who the team and executive is? Yes! Would it be to Chung’s benefit? No! Unfortunately, he can do nothing but take it, unless he is done with the NFL. Going to the commissioner is pointless! HE IS PAID BY THE OWNERS!

  28. This is just more proof that this diversity push from the NFL and other leagues is an absolute farce. The don’t want to help minorities…..they want to help “certain” minorities. The “correct” ones.

  29. For those that say “this should never happen”, i agree with you. For those that want to blame the team, there might be more honesty here than you care to realize. For those that believe that the pressure from one side of the NFLPA isn’t contributing to this, dream on. I’m betting that it really is true, but if Chung wants to remain a coach, he won’t name names.

  30. scoreatwill says:
    May 22, 2021 at 9:48 am
    I see many comments about Chung “should go public” and that is not even practical unless he is satisfied that his NFL career is over. Going public with team and executive name will get him blackballed immediately. Yes, that is not fair but it is the reality of the situation. Would I like to know who the team and executive is? Yes! Would it be to Chung’s benefit? No! Unfortunately, he can do nothing but take it, unless he is done with the NFL. Going to the commissioner is pointless! HE IS PAID BY THE OWNERS!

    ———————

    Well, he’s 51, so I’d say it’s safe to assume he’s satisfied with his career being over. He literally has absolutely nothing to lose. If it were a true story, he’d name the team.

  31. Racism in this country is real and visceral. That can be the downfall of a great country. The lies, disinformation absorption by the public and belief in conspiracy theories and just hateful vitriol aided by and hidden with anonymity on the internet. This whole time period is hellish. Racism towards minorities in this country has reached great levels and is blatantly open. There was a time not too long ago when even racists were ashamed to voice their real opinions in public. Not so, over the last 4-5 yrs. It is just sad to see.

  32. Well, he’s 51, so I’d say it’s safe to assume he’s satisfied with his career being over
    —–
    I think he meant coaching career genius

  33. The saddest thing about this story and the ensuing comments is that the majority here give a “thumbs down” to a post that points out that calling the flu the “China Flu” promotes racism against Asian Americans. Indeed, we are in a very sad place these days.

  34. Totally disgusting, “you aren’t the right minority”. Racism at it’s finest.

  35. thethunderofgunns says:
    May 22, 2021 at 9:22 am
    I remember when persons were hired simply because they were the best candidate for the job.

    *********************

    I suspect your heart is in the right place but I suspect many, many dark complexion Americans would disagree with this statement.

  36. Yes – this is dumb and terrible. However, it’s also dumb and terrible to expect bonus points and additional consideration for hire, simply because of how you look and your ethnicity.

    I want my team hiring the best people. I don’t care what they look like.

  37. The ignorance in the “name the team/executive” is mind blowing. This is a guy that wants to contribute and be a mentor and naming names will relegate him to being an assistant coach in high school at best. Think about it.

  38. “I remember when persons were hired simply because they were the best candidate for the job.”

    That time never existed, and still does not exist. Women and minorities who are the best qualified people are still routinely passed over.

  39. I might be old school but I think hiring should be based on merit and merit alone.

  40. They were looking for a minority……a specific minority?

    One would hope that they would be looking for a good coach….period.

    Having said that….something about this doesn’t pass the sniff test. Is Chung telling the truth or is he just angry that he wasn’t hired? I think that there’s more to this story that we are not being told about.

  41. gibson45 says:
    May 22, 2021 at 11:34 am
    “I remember when persons were hired simply because they were the best candidate for the job.”

    That time never existed, and still does not exist. Women and minorities who are the best qualified people are still routinely passed over.

    9 7 Rate This

    —————

    Women are also still paid less.

  42. Ryan Dubose says:
    May 22, 2021 at 6:39 am

    Really his race shouldnt make a difference if he gets the job or not should be based on his qualifications. Being a minority should not help or hurt his chances.
    ________________________________________

    And being white shouldn’t automatically land you the job either.

  43. How sad that we can’t just give the best candidate the job. Race, sex, religion, sexual preference and political affiliation should not be factors for or against a candidate. This world needs to change.

  44. pbdisciple says: “Similar to Art Shell having to correct reporter that he was not first minority HC. Tom Flores was, etc.”
    —————

    Um, Tom Fears was coaching the Saints long before Flores started.

    And as a Canadian (Asian), I’d have to say, you guys are so messed up with race issues. And your the problem is BOTH sides are so dug in that no one listens to each other.

  45. Sadly I referred a friend to a job that he was legitimately the most qualified candidate for the position. I found out later from the internal recruiter they didn’t extend him an offer because “the AVP wanted to increase minority hiring instead”. What’s going on in today’s world? Identity politics are destroying us. We are a silly, superstitious, fearful country. What’s happened to us?

  46. Let me take a guess. sounds like something out of the organization that said the inmates can’t run the prison with the televangelist running their team. Am I right?

  47. I would think a man who was drafted in the 1st round, played for three legendary coaches (Andy Reid,Tom Coughlin and Bill Parcells) and coached with the Super Bowl winning Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs for nine years, is more qualified than a first year coach with no NFL experience.

  48. A lot of NFL fans seem to be caught up that “Oh my god! A minority is getting extra help in the interview process”.

    They are taking this incident to mean that the Rooney rule is a bad idea.

    However, it’s perfectly clear that if it’s just left to its own devices, teams will just keep hiring white people as head coaches and GMs out of tradition.

    I have no problem with the Rooney rule, or the NFL’s decision to incentivize the hiring of minority coaches. Let them break into the league in a meaningful way, and maybe in the future, they won’t be necessary.

    At the moment, these important hiring decisions are usually left up to vague standards that can easily (and unintentionally) be subject to subconscious bias.

  49. pkrlvr says:
    May 22, 2021 at 10:08 am
    Well, he’s 51, so I’d say it’s safe to assume he’s satisfied with his career being over
    —–
    I think he meant coaching career genius

    ———————

    Okay, but I repeat: if it happened, he’d name the team. Seems like such a racist place he’s apparently climbing the ladder within. It didn’t happen.

  50. Just go start some stores on fire and you’ll move to the front of list quickly

  51. fearsome4 says:
    May 22, 2021 at 10:14 am

    The saddest thing about this story and the ensuing comments is that the majority here give a “thumbs down” to a post that points out that calling the flu the “China Flu” promotes racism against Asian Americans.
    ——————-

    That’s because it doesn’t. People were racist against Asian-Americans long before Covid-19.

  52. packerbacker1987 says:
    May 22, 2021 at 12:28 pm
    Sadly I referred a friend to a job that he was legitimately the most qualified candidate for the position. I found out later from the internal recruiter they didn’t extend him an offer because “the AVP wanted to increase minority hiring instead”. What’s going on in today’s world? Identity politics are destroying us. We are a silly, superstitious, fearful country. What’s happened to us?

    Seriously? You’re going to note this one incident over DECADES of minorities being passed over for positions they were infinitely over qualified for?

    If you want to talk about qualified candidates, look no further than Dan Campbell in Detroit. America. SMDH.

  53. Combating racism with racism in the guise of equity is still racism. Pathetic.

  54. If it were truly about race and not just appeasing or benefiting one type, it would be refreshing to see an influx of Asian-Americans and “Native” Americans as players, coaches and owners!

  55. People that believe in ideologies such as affirmative action and diversity hiring should seek out a doctor using the same criteria.

  56. I don’t agree with using skin color as a hiring criteria, like United Airlines, which has pledged to hire 50% of pilots over the next 10 years based on skin color and/or genitalia. Apparently for the NFL, Yellow is not a color? My apologies if that is offensive, but everyone is being described by their color now as a criteria for anything. Asians apparently are not POC’s to the NFL. The reason for this may be their success in other areas outside of sports. Asians are getting a hefty dose of the same treatment whites are getting by the government, corporations, universities, and media. Strangely, they vote almost unilaterally for political candidates e that implement these misguided programs. I’m curious to know if Chung voted for the people that represent the spear tip of this movement. It would be serendipitous.

  57. MLK is spinning in his grave these days. All this “equality” stuff is not even REMOTELY close to what he gave his life (literally) for.

  58. The predictable responses from a certain group about the best qualified from people who believe in that myth. Anybody that spent a day in the corporate world knows that decisions are in many cases made before show interviews.

  59. Discrimination is everywhere. I’m 5’9″, white, and 150lbs and not a single NBA team will sign me. I send them my profile and I can’t even get a face to face meeting. Or maybe I’m just not a good fit. Maybe it wasn’t my race after all. Maybe I should change my sexual identity. He, She, They, and Them are taken so I will now identify as Super Sexual and you must refer to me as Crowd. See how stupid this is getting?

  60. Asians are getting a hefty dose of the same treatment whites are getting by the government

    ——‘

    I’m curious as to what exactly this treatment by the government is.

    I’m a white guy in my 60s. I do not feel the government has given me a hefty dose of anything. so please, shed some light for me. thanks

  61. Just goes to show what a sham the Rooney rule is. Teams aren’t following it because they care about hiring more minorities, they do it to get the woke warriors (i.e. BLM activists) in the sports media off their backs. Yesterday Stephen A. Smith was screaming bloody murder over Tebow getting signed because “Kaepernick!” It’s incredible.

    Chung was an excellent player who probably will make a good coach. He’s right, though, he isn’t the “right” kind of minority to get pushed to the front of the line. Maybe Smith and the rest of the ESPN social-justice squad will realize that they’re pretty privileged, too.

  62. @ampatsisahypocrite

    —–

    clearly it went way over your head that using “woke” as an argument is a cancel culture tactic.

  63. nice….you people will down vote my comments but don’t have the badubees to actually post a reply.

  64. White athletes have been actively discriminated against for the last 45+ years. Countless White kids have been told they are the wrong color to play certain positions – racial funneling does occur. Even St. Dungy has stated this as truth. There are plenty of black players who get drafted based on their race, get roster spots because they are black and viewed as better due to skin color. Look at the large numbers of black players who are hyped up during the draft only to disappear.

    Time to start questioning all of it and stop using skin color as a pre-requisite while recruiting players in college and drafting players into the NFL.

  65. I think diversity in all forms (ideas, gender, orientation, religion, politics, socioeconomic upbringing and, yes, even “race”) is a great thing to strive for in social groups, schools and in the workplace! Meeting new people who differ from you really adds spice and a greater understanding of the world at large. I also think it’s a cool thing for kids to see that any member of any “group” can succeed at anything (as an example for themselves as well as not judging “other” groups’ supposed strengths or weaknesses). These are things I gained from growing up in a diverse area. To imagine that certain groups should own the claim to “normalcy” or “diversity” or “default” or “other” is insane. We’re all individuals. We should see ourselves that way and see others that way. Makes life much more interesting and rich.

  66. Any discrimination is discrimination. No exceptions for set asides. No “slot” filling.

  67. A subject that is the furthest thing from a simple matter for us to discuss here, race. Mr Chung encountered a scenario I never have I will admit. Being told you weren’t the right _______ to do this, be eligible for that, be “appropriate” for whatever. I’m a white guy, I’ve been to places like China where I felt like the only “blank” in an entire crowd with all eyes on me from time to time but I was never told sorry this gates not for you, this table, this occupation, whatever. I can only imagine how angry, depressed, confused I’d be to be told you aren’t appropriate. Sorry you’re the wrong crayon in the box. We’ve slowly made just about every mistake on race that can be made like an ongoing multi car crash in slow mo and we hopefully learn from it. Even if it takes forever. But things like Manzanar, McCarthyism, slavery, the yellow menace, the red menace, the trail of tears or forced relocation of native Americans are things that must be scars that teach a lesson. If not then as a society we just slowly descend to chaos and the moral bottom. Which is not what this country should stand for, what it does stand for regardless if you’re red, blue, left, or right.
    No chance this clears the moderator

  68. @kellygreen85 and knightwanderer

    thanks for your posts. my faith in humanity remains strong.

  69. “Harvard feels the same way”

    Odd how there’s no mention of legacies and children of donors. It’s almost as if they care less about fairness than discrediting any effort to keep the status quo.

  70. Hatred against Asian Americans is nothing new and reading thru some of the comments you all act like your spearheading the movement. Bruce Lee fought for equality for Asian Americans way before Chung thru this out there, like in the 60s. So of you’re gonna hire someone just based on race…….you in fact are a racist.

  71. BTW. Trump called it Wuhan virus. He called it China virus. Every year the flu starts where? China. With Covid19 we have a India variant, a UK variant, but we can’t talk about the China variant that started it? As far as your “minority status”? Over half the world is Asian.

  72. “For me, in this profession, I don’t think I’m looked at as a minority,” he said. “Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know.”
    _____________

    The above quote is from the linked article. Chung didn’t seem upset with the team so much as he was pointing out how the Asians are regarded by the league. For the league to not count Asians as minorities when it comes to rewarding compensatory draft picks is asinine.

    For the record, I think the “reward system” is an awful idea to begin with. But to be selective with the definition of minority is nothing short of discriminatory.

  73. the NFL is encouraging Racism by giving draft picks to team who discriminate

    YEP this is what you want so enjoy it

  74. I mean if you look at the news there’s only one “minority” all us other minorities are apparently don’t have the same plight.

    People immigrate here without speaking the language, others born here with less than ideal conditions and still find success. This is not to downplay actual issues, but it certainly seems one is extremely vocal and goes for the throat of anyone else. Look at the perpetrators of asian hate crimes…

  75. Points out the power of certain “minority” communities in pushing for stuff. Never hear this same “community” bemoaning the fact that they are over-represented in the league, do you?

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