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The Super Bowl and Human Trafficking


Kristine Kelosky


January 16, 2019

Super Bowl LIII is February 3rd. Since my team isn’t in it, I’m most likely not going to watch. I use the term “my team” very loosely. I must confess that I’m not a hard-core football fan. I don’t really care who wins (as long as it’s not the Patriots. Sorry MA friends, but Spygate and
Deflategate?) However, it wouldn’t be honest of me to ignore “my teams” problems, so instead of mentioning them, let’s just change topics.

This is a blog dedicated to modern day slavery, so what does the Super Bowl have to do with this topic? Basically, the atmosphere of the Super Bowl creates an increased demand for prostitution. Traffickers are aware if this and take advantage of the situation to maximize profits.

Atlanta, where the Super Bowl is located this year, is high on the list of cities that has numerous human trafficking cases. Add the Super Bowl to this city, with it’s influx of males coming to an area that are most likely drinking and looking to have a good time, human traffickers are ready to leverage this scenario for their financial benefit. When someone buys sex from a prostitute, they aren’t going to know if that person is being trafficked. The person being bought isn’t going to tell them, even if buyer were to ask.

City officials in hosting cities are waking up to the issue of human trafficking that coincides with the Super Bowl. This year, in Atlanta, they are taking steps to educate and offer support to victims, and with so many people flying into the city, Delta, is also taking the initiative and working towards tackling this issue.

Human trafficking is complicated and underreported, but the National Center on Sexual Exploitation reports that 183 sex buyers and 9 sex traffickers were arrested in 2017 and 85 sex buyers and 12 sex traffickers were arrested in 2016 at the Super Bowl. The goal is to have 0 sex buyers, but that’s unlikely. So hopefully, this year, more buyers and traffickers will be caught.

It’s the Super Bowl. The platform is huge. Slavery still exists and you can do something about it. Use this time, if you’re watching it with kids, to invest in them. When that commercial comes on with a scantily clad woman explain to them that real men don’t degrade women by engaging in pornography or buying sex. Tell the girls that their bodies are not for sale. Bringing up the next generation aware of the immorality of human trafficking, at age appropriate levels, is a way to change the perception of a generation.

So on the biggest night of our most popular national past time.
Don’t look away.
Be aware.
Educate yourself to the signs.
Report a tip. (National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888)

Atlanta is taking a stand. Let’s follow their lead.