High School Quarterback Allegedly Called Racial Slur Gets Ejected for Complaining About It

A high school football quarterback from Iowa was thrown out of his homecoming game Friday after complaining that he was allegedly called a racial slur by a member of the opposing team.

During the fourth quarter of the Friday night game, Earlham High School Quarterback Darrell Matchem apparently ran out of bounds and was told by a player from the opposing team from Southwest Valley High School to stand down, followed by a racial slur, Des Moines-based television news station KCCI-TV reported.

There was no penalty against Southwest Valley for the alleged slur, but when Matchem used profanity while complaining about the slur to the referee, he was thrown out of the game and penalized, according to KCCI.

"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," Matchem said to KCCI.

He added, "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."

Both schools are investigating the incident, KCCI reported.

"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 schools said in a joint statement to the news station.

They had notified the Iowa High School Athletic Association about the incident, according to the statement.

"Both schools are committed to working through these serious matters in accordance with school and district policy," the statement said, according to KCCI.

In a statement to Newsweek, Southwest Valley Superintendent Chris Fenster said that after conducting interviews with the people closest to the situation, the district did not discover more evidence to report to Earlham and the IHSAA.

The district will continue working to investigate if any additional information surfaces, he said.

"The Southwest Valley District would like everyone to know that we have good, positive students, and this type of behavior is never tolerated," the statement said. "We are a proud school district that will never condone treating people because of race, gender, sexual orientation with anything but respect, dignity, and kindness."

Earlham is a city west of Des Moines with a population of around 1,400 people, according to data from the U.S. Census. Southwest Valley High School is located in Corning, further southwest.

The incident reflects others where high schoolers have been on the receiving end of racist slurs during high school sport games.

In July, a high school cheer squad from California was subjected to racial abuse during a football game. Sabria Rose, a junior on the varsity cheerleading squad for Valley View, told KTLA5 that she and her teammates had racial slurs directed at them and were told they were "on the wrong side of town."

A high school football game in Alexandria, Virginia ended a game early in April after one of their team members was called a racist slur from a member of the opposing team.

Iowa Football
A high school quarterback in Iowa was allegedly thrown out of a homecoming game after he complained about being called a racial slur. Here, high schoolers play a football game in State Center, Iowa in October 2019. Joe Raedle/Getty Images