It was probably little noticed in most sports pages other than an agate listing, but NFL player Dat Nguyen retired last week after an eight-year career.
There are few Asian Americans in pro or big-time college sports and even fewer in the NFL. Nguyen was the first Asian American that I can remember playing pro football and for America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, no less.
The son of refugees who fled Vietnam, Nguyen is telling his story in an autobiography, Dat: Tackling Life in the NFL. (Commercial break: Be sure to use the Amazon link in the upper right corner if you’d like to buy the book. Hyphen, a nonprofit, all-volunteer magazine, gets a cut of the sale if you use the link.)
Nguyen’s had a nice career and hopefully he turned a few heads in the NFL, breaking stereotypes and proving that an Asian American can play in the macho, rough-and-tumble world of pro football.
This story says, “A Hollywood scriptwriter could not have created the Dat Nguyen story.” I’d really hate to see what Hollywood would do to Nguyen’s story. Luckily, David Carradine is too old to play him.
This posting is also on Hyphen’s blog.