Did you know that there was ethnic history made in the 2010 NFL Draft?
The NFL now has their first full-blooded Chinese descendant in the person of Ed Wang, the 6'5", 314-lb. offensive tackle.
Wang was born and grew up in Northern Virginia, but his parents, George and Nancy, are both native to China. They were both amazing athletes, too. George made the Chinese Olympic team in the high jump, and Nancy made the Olympic team running hurdles. Ed's got one hell of a set of genes.
He played in college at Virginia Tech, and now he's a proud member of the Buffalo Bills. It means a lot to him to be the first full-blooded Chinese descendant in the NFL, too. From Allen Wilson at the Buffalo News:
"It's really important to me," he said. "It means a lot to me that I was able to be the first one to do it, so I took a lot of pride in that."
He follows in the footsteps of several NFL players who have had one Chinese parent. The first was Walter "Sneeze" Achiu, the first Asian man to play in the NFL. He was a running back and defensive back for the Dayton Triangles in the late '20s.
Kailee Wong, former Vikings linebacker, and Pat Chung, a safety drafted last year by the Patriots, are also of some Chinese descent.
The name "Yao Ming" is tossed about in the Buffalo News article, but Wang and the NFL know that Wang isn't going to have a Yao-like impact anytime soon. From a marketing standpoint, there's a little bit of a difference between the 7'6" first overall pick of the NBA draft, and an offensive lineman taken in the 5th round.
The NFL does want to strengthen their grip in China, though, as evidenced by the attempted-but-never-pulled-off China Bowl. Perhaps down the road, Ed Wang can help them do that.