NFL Unable to Confirm Coach's 'Not The Right Minority' Interviewer Allegations

Eugene Chung
The NFL said it has not been able to confirm allegations that a team official told Eugene Chung he was "not the right minority" for a head coach position. In this picture, Chung (R) is seen on the sidelines as the Philadelphia Eagles play the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 7, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. getty

The National Football League (NFL) said on Thursday it has not been able to confirm allegations of former Philadelphia Eagles assistant offensive line coach Eugene Chung that a team official made discriminatory comments to him during an interview for a head coaching position.

Chung, who is Korean American, told The Boston Globe during a webinar in May that an interviewer for a team told him he was "not the right minority" to fill a position. Chung has not publicly identified the team for whom the official worked.

The NFL issued in a statement on Thursday: "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."

NFL statement on Eugene Chung claiming a team told him he was “not the right minority” during an interview for a coaching job.

— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 1, 2021

Though the league said it could not verify Chung's allegations, it stated that such words "have no place in the NFL or in any contemporary workplace."

"We intend to use this occasion to reinforce the commitment of the NFL and of every NFL club to ensure appropriate interview processes and develop diverse, inclusive, and respectful workforces on and off the field," the NFL said. "Mr. Chung has offered to assist us moving forward and we welcome the opportunity to speak with him about how we can better advance employment opportunities throughout the league."

Chung began his work as an assistant coach in 2010 for the Philadelphia Eagles before spending a few years with the Kansas City Chiefs, only to return to the Eagles' coaching staff in 2016. He won a championship ring with the Eagles when the team defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Prior to becoming a coach, Chung was a player for several teams after being drafted as a first-round pick by the Patriots in 1992. His final playing season came as a member of the Indianapolis Colts in 1997. He was the first Korean-American player and the third player of Asian descent to play in the NFL.

Chung has said he hoped to become the first Asian-American head coach of a professional football team when the alleged comment was made to him about his race.

"It was said to me, 'Well, you're really not a minority,'" Chung said, according to 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.'"

He further said: "It was absolutely mind-blowing to me that, in 2021, something like that is actually a narrative."