Minnesota colleges ban sports teams from North Carolina

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is banning its sports teams from traveling to North Carolina after the state passed a law eliminating anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals.

In a letter to state employees last month, Gov. Dayton banned all nonessential travel to North Carolina after the state passed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which prohibits municipalities from enacting anti-discrimination laws and also legislates that in government buildings, people can only use bathrooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates. In North Carolina, only people who undergo sex reassignment surgery can change the sex on that document.

The NCAA Division II national baseball tournament and National Junior College Athletic Association Division III World Series are set to take place in North Carolina. 

The decision could affect the St. Cloud State University men’s baseball team, which is the top-ranked Division II team in the region and the third in the nation. 

“I don’t think it’s helpful, certainly not to the students, to think about what if and how this might play out and so forth they’re having a great season, a great group of kids, they’re playing really well, growing into their potential,” Provost of St. Cloud State University Ashish Vaidya said. “Our coaching staff is doing a great job with them. That’s what needs to be focused on.”

Dayton said North Carolina’s law is destructive to the progress that has been made to provide equal rights and protections for members of the LGBT community.

“I am proud of Minnesota for the progress we have achieved to protect the rights and dignity of all people in our state,” Dayton said in a statement. “When the rights of some Americans are threatened, it is the responsibility of all Americans to stand in opposition to those discriminatory acts.”

Dayton said travel to North Carolina is restricted until further notice. Travel to the state will only be permitted if it is essential to the interests and safety of Minnesota residents.