Feb 1, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; General overall view of NFL golden shield logo at the NFL Honors show at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL can’t confirm Eugene Chung’s discrimination claim

The NFL on Thursday said it cannot confirm Eugene Chung’s claim that he was told he was “not the right minority” during an interview for a coaching position this offseason.

Chung, who is Korean American, made the claim to The Boston Globe in May, and the league said it would launch an investigation.

“After multiple discussions, including with Mr. Chung and his representative, we were unable to confirm the precise statement that was made, or by whom and under what circumstances any such statement was made,” the league said through spokesman Brian McCarthy.

Chung, 52, does not currently hold a coaching position. Following a five-year NFL career as an offensive lineman, he was an assistant coach for 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (2010-12, 2016-19) and Kansas City Chiefs (2013-15).

He was a first-round draft pick (13th overall) by New England in 1992 and played in 55 games with the Patriots (1992-94), Jacksonville Jaguars (1995) and Indianapolis Colts (1997).

Chung previously stated that he will not publicly reveal the organization or the interviewer who made the alleged comment.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA;  General view of the NFL Shield logo on the field before Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NFL to investigate alleged comments made to Eugene Chung

The NFL on Monday said it will investigate comments allegedly made to former NFL player and assistant coach Eugene Chung that he was “not the right minority” during a job interview with a team.

Chung, who is Korean, made the assertion last week during a webinar with the Boston Globe. Chung did not get the job for which he was interviewing and he didn’t identify the team or the executive who made the comment.

“We will review the matter,” the NFL said in a statement. “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 is a former assistant coach with the Kansas City Chiefs (2013-15) and Philadelphia Eagles (2010-12; 2016-19), who didn’t renew his contract after 2019.

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

In a follow-up, Chung said he was told he was “not the right minority that we’re looking for.”

“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. “It was absolutely mind-blowing to me that, in 2021, something like that is actually a narrative.”

Chung played in 55 games (30 starts) with the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts from 1992-97. The Patriots selected him No. 13 overall in the 1992 NFL Draft.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, an independent organization that promotes diversity in the NFL, reached out to the league on Monday asking for an investigation.

“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 the NFL Network. “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.”

–Field Level Media