Ed Wang is the first full-blooded ethnic Chinese player in the National Football League (Wikipedia here). He is an offensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills, is six foot five and weighs 310 pounds. His parents were Olympic athletes for China, but he attended high school and college in Virginia. He has a younger brother now playing college football.
Here’s part of an interview with him from the blog Shanghaiist (here):
Being the first Chinese player to break into the NFL is a huge landmark step. What has been your experience breaking into a sport dominated by white and black athletes?
It's had its ups and downs. Kids were kinda racist when I was younger but that's kids being kids not knowing any better. There was some of that at the high school level and a little bit in college level, but not in the NFL because everybody's more mature. But you know I think that as I got better, that kind of faded away.
Do you think that your Asian heritage is going to overshadow your playing?
No, I don't think it will. At the end of the day, I won't be able to do anything in China unless I can perform on the field. I really don't think so but I could see why some people think that it would.
Did you ever contemplate not pursuing this career because of the barriers you faced?
No, definitely not. It might sound weird but when I was younger, me and my parents made it a goal to be the first Chinese player in the NFL. We set that goal for me and I've just been chasing it ever since. I'm just happy it came true.
Your brother plays right now for the Hokies so possibly there's our second Chinese NFL player right there. What do you think will need to happen before we see more Chinese or Chinese-Americans take up the sport and at the level you're playing at?
I think it's just getting the word out. People in China they have the talent to do it, they just don't know the sport. They're probably not very interested right now because they don't really know about it. The way I look at it, most people don't really like stuff they don't know about. I feel like when they get more knowledge of the game, they're just gonna fall in love with it and it's gonna take off from there.