Amid calls for an investigation, the NFL announced Monday afternoon that it will review Eugene Chung's claim that he was told he was "not the right minority" during a job interview with a team earlier this year.
"We will review the matter," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy 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."
The Fritz Pollard Alliance is taking Eugene Chung's claim of discrimination seriously and called for a NFL full investigation earlier Monday through executive director Rod Graves.
“Alleged comments made to Eugene Chung by an NFL team during a recent interview should be investigated by the NFL,” Graves said via ProFootballTalk. “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.”
Chung was flabbergasted during interview
Chung played in the NFL for five years after becoming the first Asian American to be drafted in the first round back in 1992, and worked as a coach under Andy Reid for ten years. His contract wasn't renewed in 2019 and the discrimination he allegedly experienced happened during an interview several months ago with a team he declined to name.
He detailed his experience last week with Nicole Yang of the Boston Globe.
“It was said to me, ‘Well, you’re really not a minority,’” Chung recalled.
“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,’” he 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 was gobsmacked to hear someone say that. After taking a moment to absorb the comments, he tried to get the interviewer to say more about him not being "the right minority."
“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,’” he said. “It was absolutely mind-blowing to me that in 2021, something like that is actually a narrative.”
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