Former NFL offensive lineman and assistant coach Eugene Chung called the NFL's statement on its review of his claims that he was told during a job interview he "wasn't the right minority" "a little misleading."
Chung, who is Asian American, said that he has had only one short, "almost perfunctory" conversation with the NFL back in May and that "every single" coach and personnel executive he has reached out to regarding this matter has said they hadn't been contacted by the NFL during its review process. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has declined to meet with Chung to this point, despite a request from Chung's representation, Chung said.
"I've had one conversation with them. I'd love to work with them hand in hand, but, when it's being written that I'm going to be working with them, and I had only one very brief conversation, I think that's a little misleading," Chung said.
The NFL released a statement in early July saying it was "unable to confirm the precise statement that was made or by whom, and under what circumstances, any such statement was made.
"Nonetheless, 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. 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 through the League."
Chung has not identified the coach who made those alleged comments or the organization that interviewed him. "I'm not interested in outing anybody. I think that's insignificant and irrelevant to what's going on at hand right now," Chung said. "I want nothing but the best for everybody. I don't want anyone to ever have to experience [what I've experienced] or go through that. A simple conversation to fix that, I think that'd be great."
"We embrace the opportunity to work with Eugene to hear his ideas on how we can better advance employment opportunities throughout the League, both for Asian-Americans and for all underrepresented groups," Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of communications, said Monday. "As we have made him aware, we welcome meeting with him, and have at no time turned down requests to discuss these important issues with our staff, including the Commissioner."
Chung, who has served as an assistant offensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, is not currently employed by an NFL team.
"I'm trying to get back into coaching in the NFL," Chung said. "I'm not letting this comment define who I am as person, as a player, as a coach. I have a lot more to offer this game and this league."