Almost 2,800 people have signed a student-organized petition calling for the Star Tribune to issue an apology for running two advertisements that oppose a proposal before the Minnesota High School League that would allow transgender athletes to play for teams that match their gender identity.

Similarly, a protest is planned for Friday at 4 p.m.. at the Star Tribune's offices at 425 Portland Avenue, Minneapolis.

"The ad tried to smear a proposal for the Minnesota State High School League that would ensure that transgender students can participate in sports and be athletes like everyone else," wrote Zeam Porter, a high school student who organized the petition. "The ad perpetuates negative roles of female-bodied individuals as well as erases trans* identities and promotes discrimination."

The ads were paid for by the Minnesota Child Protection League and also ran in newspapers in Duluth, Mankato, and St. Cloud.

The Minnesota High School League is expected to vote on the transgender athlete proposal at its meeting Thursday in Brooklyn Center.