In the interests of full disclosure, I have to state at the onset of this blog post that I am not a football fan. I’ve just never understood the appeal, for spectators or participants. It’s not sports in general, but a few sports such as football that baffle me. Why people voluntarily undertake a profession that carries a high likelihood of short and long-term physical injury and especially brain damage (from concussions) is beyond me.
I now have a new reason to dislike football, or at least pro-football. A recent e-mail regarding a petition from Change.org provided the fuel I needed to reignite my disdain for the sport. The e-mail described the well documented practice of human trafficking, especially of young girls, that accompany the NFL Superbowl event watched worldwide.
I did a search to find out more details on the history behind this event and the unthinkable practice that is purported to accompany it. There was no shortage of information available on the web about this illegal activity, including a 2011 news article that there had been an arrest of a man found to be transporting girls as young as 12 years to the event.
For years I volunteered in a domestic violence shelter and heard from the staff there that the Superbowl meant a spike in domestic violence cases. But the trafficking issue was never discussed. Frankly, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I was unaware of this issue before the e-mail from Change.org. Guess there is always more to learn about levels of depravity in 21st Century, ‘civilized’ populations.
My call to action is a plea to consider reviewing the petition and speaking out about the practice of human trafficking, not only at the Superbowl, but everywhere. A little bit of research will confirm what I have found in the past few years, human trafficking is a major problem in the U.S. and other countries. The practice occurs in our cities and rural areas; perhaps even in your neighborhood. Vulnerable children need and deserve our protection, not only from familial abuse but from exploitation by opportunistic men and women who exploit children for profit.