First let me tell you a bit about former NFL player Eugene Chung.
When he played in the NFL from 1992 to 1997, he was often the favorite of a handful of NFL writers, as he patiently explained the complexities of being an offensive lineman. In fact, he was a great communicator even before the first round pick for the Patriots.
Once Chun was in the league I would occasionally stand in his locker and talk to him for 20 minutes; He was explanatory, friendly and direct. I always believe that one day I will be the head coach if I want to.
Turns out coaching is one of the things I wanted to follow. This desire continued until this offseason. Then something disgustingly racist happened with Chung.
Chust told the Boston Globe that during an interview with an anonymous group they told him: Well, you’re not actually 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 in the minority. “So how was I,” you mean, I’m not a minority?
The interviewer, whose name was not released, replied: You are not the exact minority we are looking for.
“When I understand what the narrative is,” Chang said. I was stunned, mentally paralyzed for a fraction of a second. I thought, “Did I hear it right?”
And so here we are again with the NFL team and the race, or rather, the NFL teams are mishandling race issues.
There are many examples of how bad the league has been on ethnic issues. There is only one lack of black coach. Or how the League started protests by Colin Copernicus year after year, until the assassination of George Floyd forced Commissioner Roger Goodell to apologize to the players.
Examples can go further. We can go back decades, even a century. As we could with the United States itself.
What happened in Chungi is annoying because we are in 2021, not 1921. Now there is no excuse for this. But it is more than that.
Anyone who told Chung that she wanted to erase him and somehow his entire ethnicity. This executive (and he is someone of high rank; Chung will not meet with a low-level official) is also announcing that the person of color and who is not; Not based on some bizarre (best) and racist (worst) notions about who deserves a job in the KNFL and what it means to be a minority.
It is true that NFL teams are sorry for appointing blacks as the head coach and front office officials in the league. The NFL needs to do better in that regard.
None of this means it shouldn’t be in the case of other people of color.
Chung’s remarks also show a lack of awareness of what is happening in the country, as Asian Americans have faced a level of hatred from former President Donald Trump during the epidemic.
Do you think that Asian men and women who are attacked simply because of their ethnic origins do not feel like minorities?
There are no minorities in the NFL. There are some people who are qualified for the coaching job and there are no people who are. That’s it. This is the end.
And Chung deserves one. He has been coaching and managing future Hall of Fame Andy Red since 2010 and has won the Super Bowl ring as an assistant to the Gulls. His reputation in the league is exceptional.
This is probably not the end of this story. The NFL will probably ask Chung who told him this and if he does, the league office will probably want to have a conversation with that person. That is, if the team has not already.
I’m not attacking the league here at all, because here are great mentors and great coaches who have accepted the difference, Chung said. It’s only when Asians don’t fit into the narrative that my stomach turns a little.
As it should be. As we all should.