The Super Bowl is a great American pastime. Fans travel from the corners of the nation to enjoy the camaraderie and sportsmanship that football offers thousands. Unfortunately, beyond the beer, nachos and hotdogs another product is being prepared and brought to the Super Bowl – American children. The Super Bowl Host Committee, comprised of local Texas leaders, have the power to stand up and protect children. So why are they ignoring the calls from anti-trafficking advocates across the country and choosing to turn a blind eye to the selling of kids at their event? As previously reported on Change.org, the Super Bowl is a prime money-making event for traffickers. Girls are brought in from across the country to be bought and sold by the hour. Many of these victims are children – innocent lives brutally stolen as their young bodies are converted to cash. This knowledge has empowered several anti-trafficking organizations, law enforcement, and advocates to take a stand in their communities. Last year at the Super Bowl in Miami, over 160 outreach workers hit the streets, raising awareness with local business and tourists to send a loud message that men who purchase sex with children are criminals.
Building on the momentum of Super Bowls past, Texas Attorney General Abbott is leading the charge to put out the “Not Welcome” mat for traffickers who plan to attend Super Bowl 2011 in North Texas. Abbott has publically stated that “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States,” and in response, his office is coordinating with local law enforcement and victims' advocacy groups in preparation for game day.
Another key leader is Texas-based anti-trafficking organization Traffick911, which has launched the “I’m NOT Buying IT” campaign, aimed at deterring the demand for paid sex surrounding the Super Bowl. This awareness campaign features a PSA with former New England Patriot Devin Wyman, taking a stand to defend the thousands of child victims and asking other men to join him. The campaign also offers free posters, banners, and informational cards – all items that can help prevent the victimization of children by raising awareness.
Tonight, Traffick911 is hosting a Town Hall meeting along with leading organizations and local experts. The Town Hall will feature a panel of leaders including Dallas and Fort Worth law enforcement and engage the community in the month-long awareness efforts leading up to the Super Bowl. Sadly, the Super Bowl Host Committee - the single group with the loudest megaphone to protect children from sex trafficking - has continued to ignore the cries of children trapped in sexual slavery.
By NOT taking action, the Super Bowl Host Committee is continuing to ignore the monumental evidence that trafficking will occur at the Super Bowl. Join me in asking the Super Bowl Host Committee to endorse the “I’m NOT Buying it” campaign to save the lives of countless children during this year’s festivities.