EARLHAM, Iowa — An investigation is underway by two Iowa schools that met on the football field and walked away with accusation of racial slurs flung at a player. It happened Friday night during a homecoming game for Earlham as they hosted Southwest Valley.
In the 4th Quarter, Earlham Quarterback Darrell Matchem carried a QB keeper towards the Southwest Valley sideline and ran out of bounds. It was then Matchem said at least one player told him to stay down, followed by a racial slur. No penalty was directed towards the visiting team for the comment, but Matchem was ejected after he was penalized for swearing at the referee about it. He admits he did so, but that it was anger over the racial slur that got the best of him. "That really hurt me because I felt like there was refs around and people around that should have control over it, and I got penalized for standing up for myself." Said Matchem.
To make matters worse, it was a tight game on Homecoming night, just after Matchem had been crowned Homecoming King. Now, both schools involved have released a joint statement saying they will investigate multiple concerns from Friday night's game, not only racial slurs, but also fan behavior overall.
The Earlham and Southwest Valley school administration are both aware of and actively investigating multiple concerns stemming from the Earlham vs Southwest Valley football game on October 1, 2021.
Toward the end of the football game, an Earlham football player reported that an inappropriate racial slur was directed at him by a member of the Southwest Valley team. Additionally, at the conclusion of the football game accusations were made of inappropriate and aggressive fan and spectator behavior.
The administration from the Earlham and Southwest Valley schools have been in touch and are working cooperatively to investigate these matters. The Iowa High School Athletic Association was notified and both schools are committed to working through these serious matters in accordance with school and district policy.
As for Matchem, he says he just wants to see change. "It was just heartbreaking for me because I feel like nobody should ever be judged by the color of their skin.... it should be more about character, not about the color of somebody's skin, and I feel like it's taught at home, and it should never happen. Ever.