While the Super Bowl is a time of celebration for football fans in America, it’s often a time of exploitation for trafficked children. Last year, traffickers from as far away as Hawaii brought underage girls to the Super Bowl in Miami, where adult men paid to rape them. This year is shaping up to be more of the same. That is, unless the Super Bowl XLV host committee is willing to stand up for kids in Dallas/Ft. Worth. Sadly, so far, they’re not.
Over 30,000 Change.org members have asked the 2011 Super Bowl host committee to stand against child sex trafficking by incorporating the “I’m Not Buying It” campaign into their official event materials. “I’m Not Buying It” is an innovative public education and prevention campaign developed by local anti-trafficking organization Traffick911. The campaign features a PSA made by former New England Patriot Devin Wyman, where he addresses child sex trafficking and asks other men to join him in protecting kids. The campaign also offers free posters, banners, and informational cards aimed at preventing the victimization of children. All these materials have been offered to the Super Bowl host committee. But so far, they refuse to lift a finger to distribute them and help kids in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
And they’re just about the only ones in Texas unwilling to help stop child sex trafficking. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott publicly stated that “the Super Bowl is one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States.” His office is working with law enforcement and victims’ advocacy groups to identify and assist children trafficked into Texas for the big game. Traffick911 is also working on the ground to get the word out that child traffickers are unwelcome in Dallas/Ft. Worth or near the Cowboys stadium. But unfortunately, all this great work is happening without the help of the host committee, the organization poised to have the biggest impact in the fight against trafficking in Texas.
No one knows how many children will be trafficked to Dallas/Ft. Worth for this year’s Super Bowl. But considering that Texas has one of the biggest human trafficking problems in the country, and that last year’s Super Bowl saw an increase in the amount of child trafficking around the event, the issue is potentially explosive. The Super Bowl host committee can continue to ignore this problem while young children are bought and sold at their event, or they can use their considerable influence to fight child sex trafficking in Texas.
Will you join the over 30,000 Change.org members in asking the Super Bowl XLV host committee to stand against child sex trafficking and incorporate Traffick911’s “I’m Not Buying It” awareness campaign into their official materials.?