Hamline University hockey petition asks MIAC to reconsider ban on spectators at winter sporting events

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The two captains of the Hamline University women’s hockey team are leading the push behind an online petition that asks leaders of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) to reconsider COVID-19 protocols that prohibit spectators from attending all winter sports activities.

Olivia Arkell and Taylor Curtis told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the intent of the online petition is to open a "respectful dialogue" with leaders of the MIAC with the idea that returning a limited number of fans into games can be done safely.

"We want to make sure that people understand we support doing this safely and within guidelines laid out by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and state," Arkell said. "We think there are options available where you could have some people attend games and still keep everyone safe."

MIAC approves return to competitive sports this winter

Curtis told KSTP her Hamline teammates are united in the effort to have the MIAC take a second look at its COVID-19 restrictions, not just for hockey, but for all winter sporting events.

"The idea is to help make this fair for all of the teams in the MIAC and to make sure we do it in a respectful manner," Curtis said. "As student leaders, we are trying to set an example that you can make a difference by using your voices and making sure you do it with respect toward everyone."

MIAC Commissioner Dan McKane told KSTP his schedule would not allow time for an interview, but said he met with both players Thursday morning and that they had a "fabulous discussion."

"We are constantly reviewing our COVID-19 health and safety protocols," McKane said. "Our first competitions begin on Friday and the membership will evaluate how things went early next week."