Monday's NFL: League will review Eugene Chung's allegations of discrimination
The NFL plans to review Eugene Chung’s allegations that a team official made discriminatory comments during his interview for a coaching position.
Chung, a 1992 first-round pick by New England who played five seasons in the league and served as an assistant coach for a decade, told The Boston Globe he was told he was “not the right minority” by an interviewer. Chung, who is Korean American, didn’t identify the team.
“We will review the matter,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. “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.”
Chung most recently was part of Philadelphia’s coaching staff from 2016-19. He started 30 games at both guard spots for the Patriots in his first two seasons in the NFL in 1992-93 and played one season with Jacksonville and one with Indianapolis.
Chung began his coaching career with the Eagles on Andy Reid’s staff in 2010 as an assistant offensive line coach. He followed Reid to Kansas City in 2013 and came to Philadelphia with Doug Pederson in 2016.
“Alleged comments made to Eugene Chung by an NFL team during a recent interview should be investigated by the NFL,” the Fritz Pollard Alliance said in a statement. “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.”
Rodgers a no-show
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t present for the first day of organized team activities, and his future with the team remains uncertain.
Rodgers confirmed in an ESPN interview that he wasn’t at Monday’s session. Although these OTAs are voluntary, Rodgers generally has participated in them in the past.
Rodgers’ decision to stay away comes amid reports that the reigning MVP wants out of Green Bay, where he has spent his entire NFL career. Rodgers was noncommittal about his future during his ESPN interview, but did detail some of his frustrations.
“I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization,” Rodgers said. “History is important, the legacy of so many people who’ve come before you. But the people, that’s the most important thing. People make an organization. People make a business, and sometimes that gets forgotten. Culture is built brick by brick, the foundation of it by the people, not by the organization, not by the building, not by the corporation. It’s built by the people.”
ESPN reported in the hours before the draft that the three-time MVP doesn’t want to return to the Packers. Later that week, Packers CEO Mark Murphy wrote in a column posted on the Packers’ website that the team “is very much aware” of Rodgers’ concerns and that “this is an issue that we have been working on for several months.”
Murphy acknowledged in his column that he, general manager Brian Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur all had visited Rodgers on a number of occasions during this offseason.
Gutekunst has said the team has no plans to trade Rodgers, who has three years remaining on his contract. Packers officials have said they want to keep Rodgers in Green Bay in 2021 and beyond.
“We want him back in the worst way,” LaFleur said earlier this month during the team’s rookie minicamp. “I know he knows that and, you know, we’ll continue to work at it each and every day.”
Jones wants out
Wide receiver Julio Jones says he’s ready to leave the Falcons.
The 32-year-old star told FS1 “Undisputed” host Shannon Sharpe via telephone that “I’m outta there” in a brief interview.
Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot has been reportedly entertaining trade offers for Jones since last month.
When asked where he wants to play, Jones replied, “Right now, I wanna win.”
It was unclear if Jones knew he was live on TV. An assistant to Jimmy Sexton, Jones’ agent, told The Associated Press that Sexton was unavailable. A message was left seeking comment from Fox Sports.
Jones was the sixth overall pick in 2011 and has spent all 10 seasons with the Falcons and is the franchise’s leader in receptions with 848 and yards receiving with 12,896. He has 60 touchdown catches. He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and has been an All-Pro twice.
Jones’ $15.3 million base salary is guaranteed and he is set to cost the Falcons slightly more than $23 million against the salary cap next season. If the Falcons trade him after June 1, they would be able to split the dead money over two seasons.