Soccer is The Worlds Game it’s for Everyone!
Before I comment on an ugly soccer story unfolding in the Treasure Valley, some background. Having grown up in the melting pot that is the New York-Connecticut-New Jersey metro area I have always been around many ethnic groups. We went to school together and played together and that included youth, high school and college sports. I played football at Idaho State in the late 1960's and arrived in town with a fellow ISU Bengal from New Haven, Connecticut. Because we didn't know anyone else in Pocatello he and I explored the town together until a warning. The warning was from a coach that because I was white and he was black we needed to be careful. In the coaches mind, Pocatello wasn't ready for us and that has always stayed with me. I moved to Boise in 1982 and everyone of my children went to Borah High school. What I loved most about Borah was it's ethnic diversity. I was always glad that my children were exposed to other cultures, thoughts, ideas thus experiencing the reality it takes all types to make the world go round. My youngest son played soccer for Borah and youth soccer on a traveling team. Suffice it to say soccer is the worlds game and he was able to meet, compete with and become friends with so many players with different backgrounds and stories that he was better equipped to meet the challenges of the world when his Lion days were done. That brings me back to the ugly letter received by an Eagle soccer coach. He coaches kids ages 7 to 11, the emphasis on kids! Kids playing soccer, being active being constructive but all one person could see was race and color. According to the reports I've read the letter was full of racial slurs even threats! Why? Because 75% of this particular soccer club are ethnic minorities, from refugee families and other countries. Coach Jeromy Tarkon says the players hear racial slurs at games and that's bad enough but the threatening nature of the letter took things to a new level. The letter is being considered malicious harassment and could be punishable by 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. This is serious business, these are kids being kids, more than that they are being kids doing all the right things. I love Boise for it's diversity in fact that is part of what makes Boise so livable. Eagle police ask if you know anything about this letter, who may have written it and left it on the coaches windshield to please call 208-938-2260.