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An Idaho youth soccer coach was threatened in a racist letter. The community won’t stand for that.

"This is what this community's all about."

Idaho Juniors Futbol Club head coach Jeromy Tarkon received a threatening racist letter last weekend. On Saturday, dozens of people showed up to an early morning game to make sure Tarkon knew the soccer community stood with him in solidarity.
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Idaho Juniors Futbol Club head coach Jeromy Tarkon received a threatening racist letter last weekend. On Saturday, dozens of people showed up to an early morning game to make sure Tarkon knew the soccer community stood with him in solidarity.

It was far too early on a Saturday morning for most. But for those gathered at Boise Indoor Soccer, the time of day didn’t matter; they were going to be there.

The stands and sidelines were filled to the brim by 7 a.m. in a show of support for Idaho Juniors Futbol Club coach Jeromy Tarkon and his team. Tarkon discovered a letter filled with racial slurs and threats on the windshield of his Jeep last Sunday.

Tarkon’s soccer team fields approximately 60 boys from ages 7 to 11, and 75 percent of its players come from ethnic minorities, refugee families or other countries.

After receiving the letter, Tarkon went public in an effort to fight back. On Saturday, parents and children stood in solidarity with Tarkon and the Idaho Juniors.

“We always knew that the community was rockstars,” Tarkon said. “What’s so awesome about this is seeing so many people in the community saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to stand behind a group of people ... and fight back.’”

Idaho Juniors assistant coach Adin Catovic estimated the crowd Saturday was more than double the size it would normally be for a gameday morning.

“This is really what we were hoping to see out here today,” Catovic said. “I was not surprised (with the support) a bit. This is exactly what we expected we were going to get. Because this is what this community’s all about.”

Michael Katz: 208-377-6444, @MichaelLKatz

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