Minnesotans are rallying behind an Idaho youth soccer team who received hate mail from a bigot.

Back in January, the coach of an Idaho youth soccer team ages 7-11 received a letter spewing racist hate towards his players. The coach and president of Idaho Juniors FC Jeromy Tarkon posted a photo of the letter to the club's Facebook page, bringing the situation to light but cautioning that it's "not for sensitive eyes."

Coach Jeremy

It's because of liberals like you that our state is full of [n-word] and [derogatory term]. 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."

According to Sports Illustrated, 75% of Idaho's Junior FC club's players come from minority or immigrant families, including "Ethiopia, Kenya, Israel, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Portugal, Bosnia, Ukraine and Russia."

In his own Facebook response, Coach Jeromy rebutted with how his players and club would respond to such hate and racism, with actions and gestures including "celebrate diversity," "embrace new cultures," "offer support," "stand up and speak out," "be careful with what we say and how we say it," and "Link up with groups and organizations that combats racism and hate crimes." The story gained attention national attention when Sports Illustrated covered it.


In Minnesota-Nice fashion, Minnesotans are stepping in to show their support. Two St. Paul soccer fans -- Nachiket Karnik and Bridget McDowell -- started a YouCaring campaign titled "Red Card To Racism -- Send Idaho Juniors FC to the USA Cup!" with a goal of raising $24,000. The USA Cup is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the world. Finances raised will cover airfare, tournament registration fees, room & board in the tournament dorm, a visit to a Minnesota United FC game and additional expenses such as laundry and shipping/luggage fees.

With only 26 days left (at time of writing), $8,626 has been raised.

...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.

You can join the campaign to see Idaho's Junior FC club welcomed to Minnesota here.

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