To say this past week/month/year has been tough is an understatement. Our hearts are heavy, seeing our brothers and sisters needlessly killed just for being black while out in the world leaves us feeling helpless.
As owners of Roller Derby Athletics who are both Black and Indigenous and part of the BIPOC community of skaters, we want to try our best to help bring awareness to the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the derby community. It’s beyond time that these issues be addressed, not only on the track but off as well. Your teammates are being affected in a real and harmful way, every day.
Outright racism and casual racism affect Black skaters, their friends, family and teammates daily, this isn’t anything new. A few things you can do now is stop asking POC to write out your PR posts for the black lives matter situation for your leagues. It’s adding insult to injury.
Stop asking for past examples of how they’ve been personally affected by racism, it’s unnecessarily retraumatizing.
Please educate yourselves and do the work so they don’t have to keep doing it in life, on social media and in derby. If info and ideas are shared with you, listen with an open mind and heart to see how you can help make a difference.
For all of those out protesting and attending rallies we ask that you stay safe. Continue to stand up for what’s right. Know that we see you out there when we can’t be there. POC want to be part of the marches for change but also still fear for their lives while trying to attend these events.
Please reach out to any black skaters, refs, photographers, NSOs, announcers, etc to see if they’re ok, show them you care about their wellbeing. This is a situation that is both physically and emotionally exhausting to have to see happen over and over in the news and social media feeds. They’re hurting and need to feel that their skate crews & leagues are there for them, even if that means just letting them know you’re thinking of them.
The derby and skating community can be amazing, let’s show POC the support is there. With this time off, look inward at your leagues to make sure everyone in leadership positions and teammates are Allies and aren’t detrimental to growing the diversity on the teams. Focus on inclusion all around.
In a small way we’re able to help, we’ve donated to Holding Space with Magical Wheelism, which is a podcast that talks about race, privilege and class issues in the derby community. Listen here and donate to them if you can.
Also we’ve donated to Southcoast Shipwreckers. We understand being a small mainly POC league has its extra hardships and we want to try our best to give back and help this league grow to be a safe space for all. ♥️
“Many many tears have been shed, its been an exhausting time. I want to give a shout out to my league NTRD for having my back on situations and teammates checking in on me. Its helped feel a lot less lonely. It can be difficult at times to be optimistic about our current situation, but i refuse to
give up.” -Taco
Stay safe out there friends,
Ratchet-Face and Taco Bruiseday