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NFL launching review after former coach said he was told he was ‘not the right minority’ during interview

The NFL is launching an investigation after a former player and coach said he was told he was not the “right minority” while interviewing for a job within the league. 

Eugene Chung, who is of Korean descent, told the Boston Globe over the weekend he was interviewing for a job as an assistant coach when an unnamed staff member for the unidentified team told him, “Well, you’re really not a minority.”

“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 staffer responded, “You are not the right minority we’re looking for,” Chung said.

The NFL condemned the reported incident in a statement on Monday. 

“We will review the matter,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “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 NFL’s Rooney Rule dictates teams must interview at least two minority coaches for openings.
Chung, who spent five years playing pro football and began his coaching career in 2010, spent time as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, winning a Super Bowl in 2018. 
“It was absolutely mind-blowing to me that, in 2021, something like that is actually a narrative,” he said of the incident over the weekend. 
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting diversity and equal representation in football, said the NFL needs to conduct a thorough investigation of Chung’s allegations. 

“Alleged comments made to Eugene Chung by an NFL team during a recent interview should be investigated by the NFL,” the alliance said in a statement obtained by 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.”


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