Minnesotans rally for Idaho youth soccer team subjected to racism

The team of 7-11 year olds has been the target of a bigot in Idaho.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

It's been two months since a youth soccer coach in Idaho received a frightening letter from a racist, and Minnesotans are now rallying behind the club to get them to Minnesota for one of the largest international soccer tournaments in the world.

The letter, as Idaho Juniors FC's coach Jeromy Tarken said, isn't for "sensitive eyes."

"It’s because of liberals like you that our state is full of [n-word] and wet*****. Your [n-word] boy made the soccer field unclean by stepping on it. You are no better than the trash families you have. You are trash. Be careful how you coach. One day you might piss off the wrong parent or families. The Juniors are a joke. Quit now before the whole state hates you. Be careful.”

Their story gained national attention when it was picked up by Sports Illustrated, where Tarkon said the letter gives them an opportunity to "fight racism."

Even Landon Donovan, one of the all-time great soccer stars for team USA, went to bat for Tarkon and his team.

“Coach Tarkon and his players have been subjected to disgusting behavior by an ignorant coward and the entire soccer community has their backs," Donovan told VICE Sports.

Minnesotans rally to their cause

Donovan was right.

After hearing about the racism directed at the group of kids, all 11 years old or younger, St. Paul's Nachiket Karnik and Bridgett McDowell started a fundraiser through YouCaring with a goal of raising $24,000.

But with only 26 days to go they've raised just over $8,600.

"Our first reaction was outrage which quickly morphed into a desire for action," they wrote on the page. "The boys in Idaho Juniors FC (IJFC) need to see that for every coward writing racist notes, there are thousands of us who are ready to give a red card to racism and support those different than us."

The money would get 16 players, 3 coaches and 2 adult chaperones to Minnesota for the USA Cup in Blaine between July 16-22.

It'll cover airfare, tournament registration fees, room and board, tickets to see the Minnesota United FC play and basic needs like laundry, shipping and luggage fees.

Playing in the USA Cup is not cheap. Registration fees for 16 U-11 players is just over $2,000, and that's not including a $505 charge per person to stay in a dorm at the University of Minnesota or University of Northwestern for a week.

The USA Cup in Blaine is the largest international soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere. 

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.

classroom

Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.

purse

Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.

Related

youth-2436343_1280

Youth soccer tournament bans parents from the sidelines

They also won't be allowed to give the referees any abuse.

Former Vikings HQ to become a haven for kids' soccer

Life Time Fitness is taking over Winter Park in Eden Prairie.

US soccer fires coach Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann's replacement has not been named.

US soccer fires coach Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann's replacement has not been named.

Bemidji baseball team playing in the Babe Ruth World Series

It's the equivalent of the Little League World Series, but for 13 year olds.

Screen Shot 2020-09-25 at 1.02.48 PM

COVID-19 survey teams withdraw from MN due to racism, intimidation

The survey was aimed at learning more about COVID-19's spread in Minnesota.

Report: Allianz Field to host U.S. men's soccer for Gold Cup opener

It'll be the first game for the U.S. national team since their World Cup failure.