Vermont basketball (Photo: BRIAN JENKINS/for the FREE PRESS)

On Thursday, the Vermont women’s basketball team became the latest entity to cancel a trip to North Carolina over the state’s controversial transgender bathroom law.

The Catamounts were scheduled to take on the Tar Heels on Dec. 28. However, the team canceled the trip, citing concerns over the law, which prevents transgender people from using government-run bathrooms based on how they identify.

“The decision to cancel to our Dec. 28 women’s basketball game at North Carolina was made as a result of concerns over the HB2 law, which prevents transgender people from using government-run bathrooms based on their gender identity,” Vermont athletic director Jeff Schulman said in a statement.

“We strive very hard to create an inclusive climate for our students and staff in which they all can feel safe, respected, and valued. It would be hard to fulfill these obligations while competing in a state with this law, which is contrary to our values as an athletic department and university.”

According to Schulman, he came to the decision after discussing the matter with players and coaches.

“We fully understand and sympathize with the impact that this decision may have on the North Carolina women’s basketball schedule,” Schulman said. “However, we believe this decision is consistent with our values and the conversations with our coaches and student team members. These were the most important considerations.”

By canceling the trip, the team misses out on receiving a number of perks from North Carolina, including hotel rooms, three meals per day, and $17,500.

This move might be minor in the grand scheme of things. However, Vermont is part of an ongoing trend of avoiding travel to the state over the controversial HB2 law. The University of Albany men’s basketball team had to cancel a trip to Duke because of the law. Charlotte also lost the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver taking a hard stance against the state’s decision to keep the law in tact.

From a non-sports angle, musical acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and Pearl Jam have all canceled stops in the Tar Heel State. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Ciara have also moved their wedding out of North Carolina.

This move away from North Carolina doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. It just has to make you wonder how much longer the state can continue to stand in support of the law.


About Ryan Williamson

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and has recently returned to his Minnesota roots. He previously has worked for the Columbia Missourian, KFAN radio in Minneapolis and Feel free to email me at rwilliamson29 AT Gmail dot com.