During the intros at Saturday's bout, we noticed a few shocked (maybe horrified is the right word) faces in the crowd during the National Anthem when the players for the men's bout took a knee. Specifically, a couple of extended family of our local derby community who are military veterans. We asked the announcers to explain this quickly, but just in case anyone didnt hear it, we wanted to put this out there as an FYI for all our fans and supporters.
The reason the skaters took a knee is NOT any sign of disrespect or protest for our country. You see, our insurance coverage and the safety protocol we have to follow is predicated upon everyone who has wheels strapped to their feet also being in full gear- meaning that we are wearing a helmet and have it strapped on.
Since everyone knows its disrespectful to wear a hat (or helmet) during the National Anthem, we remove them. Which means we cannot be standing on our skates as long as the helmets are off.
We consider it the lesser of the two evils to take a knee with our helmets off rather than to stand and keep the helmets on.
So, please let your family and friends know that when they see this happening- its for safety's sake- not some political protest. Thanks for your time!