I can't seem to get these things off. I've very closely examined them, and tried to give them a little bit of a pull, and they won't budge. The specs say this mobo has 6 SATA plugs, and these are clearly marked AS SATA plugs, so what the hell?
They are the SATA plugs but they are rear facing slots. This means the facing toward the back of the motherboard the stacks of two. You will be fine and nothing needs to be removed. You just plug the SATA cable into them.