EAGLE, Idaho — A Boise youth soccer coach is fighting back after receiving a threatening anonymous letter with racial slurs directed at his players.
Jeromy Tarkon discovered the letter placed on his car outside his home Sunday, warning him to “be careful” and instructing him to quit coaching, the Idaho Statesman reported .
Tarkon, who is the director of the Idaho Juniors soccer club, said the majority of the 7-11 year olds in the club come from diverse backgrounds. He said he has heard racial slurs directed at his players before. But what surprised him about this letter was that it was delivered to his home.
“This is something that minorities are having to deal with on a daily basis,” Tarkon said. “It’s time. It’s time to take a stand, and it’s time to force people to act.”
The Idaho Youth Soccer Association is planning to discipline whoever wrote the letter, said Craig Warner, the organization’s executive director. The state association can temporarily suspend or ban for life a player or coach. It can also ban parents from the sidelines.
“There is no room for that kind of racism, whatsoever,” Warner said. “Soccer is such a culturally diverse sport, in particular in our state.”
Tarkon’s club is considering wearing armbands and teaming up with other clubs to make shirts to denounce racism, he said. The club has launched a GoFundMe page with the proceeds going to an organization dedicated to fighting racism, Tarkon said.
“Listen, I’m not big enough to make a difference nationally,” Tarkon said. “But we together are big enough to make a difference in our community, in our backyard.”
Eagle police are investigating the letter as possible malicious harassment.
Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com