Skip to main content

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

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.

snow

3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.

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

The fitness chain 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.

MNWOSO_Aurora

MN women's soccer team narrows name, logo options to final 3

The winning nickname and logo will be announced in January.

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.