The NFL on Monday announced it would investigate allegations from former NFL player and coach Eugene Chung that a team said he “was not the right minority that we’re looking for” during a job interview.
The NFL announced its investigation after a Boston Globe report on Friday, in which Chung — who is Korean-American — claimed a team told him he was “not the right minority” for the job during an interview. He declined to name the team with whom he interviewed.
“We will review the matter,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement via NFL.com. “That comment is completely inappropriate and contrary to league values and workplace policies. The NFL and its clubs are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all personnel in a manner that is consistent with our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Chung, a first-round pick in the 1992 NFL Draft by the Patriots, played eight years in the league, including in Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Philadelphia. He also coached in the league from 2010-19, for the Eagles (2010-12), Chiefs (2013-15) and Eagles again (2016-19).
Chung, 51, told the Globe that his interviewer initially said he wasn’t a minority, before clarifying that he wasn’t the “right minority.”
“It was said to me, ‘Well, you’re really not a minority,’” Chung said. “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.’
“I asked about (the comment), 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. “It was absolutely mind-blowing to me that, in 2021, something like that is actually a narrative.”
On Monday, the Fritz Pollard Alliance — a foundation committed to equal opportunity in the NFL — called for the NFL to review the team that Chung alleged made the comments.
“Alleged comments made to Eugene Chung by an NFL team during a recent interview should be investigated by the NFL,” the organization said in a statement obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “If the comments regarding his status as a Korean American are true, it is further evidence that despite good faith changes to diversity-related policies, the NFL’s actual hiring practices are still riddled with discrimination.”