Gov. Mark Dayton’s personal ideology on transgender locker rooms and bathrooms is different from that of the majority of voters in North Carolina and that state’s leaders. Because he doesn’t honor the rights of other states to vote and pass their own laws, Dayton has issued a travel ban for nonessential state employees. Blindly following his dictatorial lead, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system has determined that it will not send its teams to North Carolina to participate in the NCAA tournament/NJCAA World Series, because “for the purpose of this directive” travel to North Carolina is also deemed nonessential.

Since when do we use our athletes as pawns to push an agenda? How and why are the NCAA/NJCAA tournaments related to left-wing — or right-wing — political views?

I am not taking a stance on the law in North Carolina, but I have utmost respect for the process described in the Gettysburg Address as a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Where does the imposition of one’s personal ideology stop? Are our public officials representing each of us or their own ideals?

What if Dayton and the MnSCU leaders decide they don’t like the use of speed cameras in Maryland? (I sure don’t!) Or how about the fact that we can’t order a large soda pop in New York City? (Why is any government telling me what size pop I’m allowed to order?) Will nonessential travel and nonessential employees be banned from Maryland and New York City? Or do we still go and, while there, behave like mature adults by observing and respecting the laws of our fellow states?

The people and officials of North Carolina have enacted a law for their state. On a personal level, if one doesn’t agree with North Carolina’s policies, don’t go there — feel free to talk with your money. But a governor and a publicly funded state university system pitting one state against another state? This happened in the 1860s, my friends, and a very wise person named Abraham Lincoln said: “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” Today is a sad day for the United States of America.

Players: Dayton is not a dictator. MnSCU is not the Nazi SS. Do not let them rob you of this opportunity. Become advocates for yourselves. This is your foray into American politics — get involved.

The NCAA itself goes out of its way to fund travel expenses at all three divisional levels. Why? According to its website, the “NCAA championships are regarded as the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics competition. Travel costs could discourage deserving teams from competing if expenses were not covered, thus devaluing the championship.”

Do not let Dayton’s and MnSCU’s disregard for the processes of democracy in America stop you from reaching your pinnacle.


Lori Davis lives in Burnsville.