Human trafficking is probably not something that many people were thinking about as they geared up to watch the Super Bowl with their beer and wings this Sunday evening. I know that, personally, it never crossed my mind. That’s why I was shocked to see the headlines of several articles this morning claiming that the Super Bowl, one of the biggest sporting events of the year, is “the single largest human trafficking incident in the US”, as stated by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. With over 70,000 attendees, it shouldn’t be surprising the large number of women brought in to sleep with the many men with extra cash in their pockets, looking for a good time while away from their wives or girlfriends. High attendance means high demand, and it also means tracking down all the people involved is much more difficult. In 2009, around 10,000 women, including many minors, were trafficked into the Miami area for Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, according to the Florida Commission Against Human Trafficking. But while this all somewhat makes sense, in a very disturbing way, it was still startling to me to hear about all of this. Why is that? For such a major event, why do we not hear more about this incredibly negative aspect of it? I asked many of my friends around campus if they had ever heard anything about sex trafficking and the Super Bowl, and none of them had. To me, this seems very, very wrong. And I have to wonder if the people in charge don’t want this to become a hot topic since it would put an extremely negative spin on such a huge moneymaker. But something needs to be done. People need to be aware of the ugly consequences of such a huge event and educate themselves on this very real and serious problem. I really hope that many people will read these articles so that next year, they will be thinking about more than just the game during the Super Bowl.
For more information, please read these articles about trafficking and the Super Bowl: