The gridiron can be an intense place. Lots of hard hits some trash talk. Certainly, in high school, there's no exception to that. However, there is never a need to attack an opponent personally, and especially no reason to use a racial slur. Sadly, Earlham Cardinals Quarterback Darrell Matchem claims just that happened to him on Friday.

The incident casts a shadow on Earlham's homecoming

The town of Earlham, which is about 30 minutes west of Des Moines, was celebrating its homecoming on Friday. That night they played host to Southwest Valley. According to an Iowa's News Now report, during the 4th quarter of the game, QB Darrell Matchem carried the ball on a play towards the Southwest Valley and ran out of bounds. Matchem said shortly after he was told by one of the opposing players to stay down, which was then followed by a racial slur.

However, Matchem was tossed by refs after he swore at them. Matchem admitted to doing so but said it was out of anger and frustration that the slur, which he claims they likely heard and ignored. Prior to the incident, Matchem's day was going pretty well. During school, he had been crowned Homecoming King and was poised to takedown Southwest Valley on homecoming night.

An investigation is underway

The slur and poor overall fan behavior are being investigated by both schools. Iowa's News Now report quotes a joint statement from the school saying,

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.

Matchem says he just wants to see change referring to the incident as "heartbreaking".

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