by Dr. Karen Oliveto, Pastor
We are approaching one of the biggest sporting events of the year: the Super Bowl. This is a day that can only be “Made in America.” Americans consume more on this day than any other day except Thanksgiving. There will be 8 million pounds of guacamole, and 14,500 tons of chips eaten during the Super Bowl. A half minute ad costs $3.5 million. The average price of a ticket to this year’s game will put you back $3984.73.
It is estimated that the Super Bowl brings in up to 400 million for the local economy, and that “the big games economic footprint is estimated to be larger than the GDP of 25 nations.”
But there is one alarming statistic related not only to the Super Bowl, but all major pro sporting events in America: Human Trafficking. Sporting events that draw men with lots of money also attract organized crime. It has been estimated that10,000 individuals were brought to last year’s Super Bowl in Miami to work as prostitutes.
While these figures are difficult to corroborate, The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking estimates that human trafficking is a $16 billion business in the U.S. In addition, the U.S. State Department reports that 14,500 to 18,000 victims are trafficked into this country annually for prostitution, forced labor or other forms of exploitation.
Thanks goes to the elected officials in Indiana, who worked together to sign into law an anti-human trafficking bill in an effort to deter those who would forcibly engage people—mainly the most vulnerable, children, poor women, and undocumented immigrants—to the sex trade.
Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery which must end. We at GLIDE are committed to creating communities where no member is exploited but instead valued and treated with dignity. This Super Bowl weekend, may we at GLIDE recommit ourselves to being a safe harbor of healing for all persons.
For more information, visit Intercept the Traffickers 2012.