HomeKorean AmericanEugene Chung shares how he's endured racism in football

Eugene Chung shares how he’s endured racism in football

Former NFL player and coach Eugene Chung made headlines when he revealed an NFL team told him that he is “not the right minority” during a job interview.

Now he’s opening up even more saying he’s been dealing with racism his entire football career.

Chung shared with The Undefeated as early as high school, people have yelled at him “Go home, g—, you don’t belong here,” while playing for Oakton High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. Racist comments would come from players and coaches.

Chung has been both an NFL player and coach the past 30 years. Racism in nothing new to him.

“I experienced these same things 40 years ago and it’s still happening today,” Chung said. “Nothing has changed, and that’s very sad. I don’t know which way our society is going.”

He acknowledges he hasn’t always dealt with it well, choosing to speak with his knuckles at times rather than his mouth. “I wasn’t taking any s—. It was like, ‘You messed with the wrong one.’ ”

Yes, one that was a 6-foot, 180-pound freshman lineman in high school. He ended up being recruited to play football for Virginia Tech. NFL scouts took notice of him by his second year. The New England Patriots drafted him in the first round in 1992.

He lost his father to a heart attack in his first NFL season. His father never got to see him play in the pros. Chung singled out his coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid, who took a special interest in learning the Korean culture.

Then there were others.

“I had coaches making comments thinking they were funny,” Chung said. “I would be like, ‘Is that funny? Help me understand that.’ 

Chung last coached in the NFL in 2019. He is now considering possibly coaching at the college level or overseas.

The NFL called Chung’s experience of being called “not the right minority” disturbing.

“When you hear it, it tells you how much work we still have to do, how much education is needed for all of us,” NFL Executive Vice President for Football Operations Troy Vincent said, ProFootball Talk reported.

The NFL says it will investigate.

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