This weekend another monumental moment in sports history will take place – Super Bowl LV. But for many, it will become a tragedy no matter who wins or loses.
In 2021, a 30-second commercial will cost $5.6 million, the average ticket price is $7,950, and a hamburger stands at a whopping $16. However, food and entertainment won’t be the only thing sold over the next few days, so will sex.
As millions of Americans begin to prepare to tune in to the most-watched sporting event in the nation, others remain fearful of what’s to come because of the Super Bowl. Many adults will have parties and scream at the television, while behind the scenes, many women and children will be sold for their bodies.
Human trafficking is at its yearly peak on the night of the big game. As an underground crime, it’s difficult to pinpoint the influx of sales, however with local and state law enforcement, many victims have been rescued and traffickers arrested in years past.
For example, according to Reuters, in 2017, U.S. police conducted a sting operation that coincided with the Super Bowl. Their efforts across the nation led to the arrest of 723 people for buying sex, as well as 29 pimps. In Houston, the city which hosted that year, more than 100 arrests were made for such charges. Six minors were rescued, as well as 86 adults.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, last year in Miami alone, ABC News reported: “law enforcement conducted 47 human trafficking arrests and recovered 22 victims, including four girls under the age of 18.”
Why does the Super Bowl attract human traffickers?
Because there is a demand and there are a lot of selling opportunities during this particular weekend.
Like we learned in economics, something is usually sold when there is a demand for the given product, and when demand increases, so does the price. The same is true for sex exploitation. After many become “unhappy” with “soft” pornography or other types of material, they act out on their feelings and look to buy more. Trafficking and exploitation occur because buyers can’t get enough of the demand: Sex.
In Florida this year, hundreds of thousands of people will be in Tampa for the game, while millions watch in their hometowns. The odds are high that out of this vast number of people, someone will be looking to purchase the product, which in this case, is the bodies of America’s women and children.
Many Florida officials are already preparing for Sunday’s event by contacting and working with hotels, motels, gas stations, highway departments, Uber drivers, and more. But until the demand is gone, the risk of exploitation remains large.
I’m no fortune teller, but I’m 100% sure a 2021 Super Bowl commercial promotes a product by enticing buyers with sex appeal. In this case, it’s demand.
Fifteen years ago, the commercial sex industry in the U.S. alone brought in more annual-revenue than the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined at $13.3 billion. Today, we can’t go to the store, look online, or turn on the television during the Super Bowl without something scandalous flooding our eyes.
It’s a safe bet that even the commercials will in some way-shape-form-or-fashion use sex appeal in order to sell their product. And if that isn’t enough, there will be an exhibit of half-dressed girls provocatively dancing on the sidelines and during the halftime extravaganza.
These seem like minor things, but little things often amount to something much larger. And as innocent or as humorous as it may seem, each “little” commercial only harms these women further.
It isn’t the Super Bowl’s fault that sex trafficking exists, but rather, complacent American’s who sit and watch. By raising awareness, learning the signs, and praying for ways to help stop such a terrible crime, we can make a difference in these victim’s lives.
Trafficking happens because there is a demand in our culture for women to act, dress, and perform a certain way…and for sex.