New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned all non-essential state travel to Mississippi because of the state’s “religious freedom” law, and a college baseball team is paying the price, the Sun Herald reports.
The University of Southern Mississippi was scheduled to host Stony Brook, a public school in New York, for a series Feb. 23-25. Because of Cuomo’s ban, Stony Brook can’t make the trip.
As a result, Southern Miss loses out on three home games, and instead will have to travel to Texas for a tournament at Stephen F. Austin.
“I just hate losing the three home games,” USM head coach Scott Berry said. “I’m sure it’s going to cost us for sure. That’s three gates and everything that goes into a game day in terms of revenue.”
A spokesman for Stony Brook said the university wasn’t aware that the travel ban applied to Mississippi at the time the series was scheduled.
The law in question is HB 1523, which makes it legal for businesses to refuse service to customers based on religious beliefs. The most controversial application of the law is the ability of Christian business owners to refuse service to gay people, such as in the case of the Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. That case is currently being heard by the Supreme Court.
Cuomo enacted a similar state travel ban for North Carolina in 2016 over the transgender bathroom law, which required people use the restroom corresponding to their biological gender in government buildings.