Originally posted on Forte E Bello:
In just a few short days hundreds of thousands of visitors will flood to the MetLife stadium in New Jersey for Super Bowl XLVIII. Many visitors will be coming to show their pride and cheer on their favorite team, but tragically, thousands more will be coming for something entirely different. What most people don’t know is that the single biggest game of the year has also been called the single largest human trafficking event on the planet.
Just beyond the stadium lights, hidden within the shadows will be thousands of victims, women, children and even men, caught in the inhumane web of sex trafficking. For them this day will bring something much different than football, loud cheers, hot dog stands and painted beer bellies. For them it will bring pain, abuse, repeated rapes and even fear of death. The exact numbers of trafficking cases in a given year or place are unknown because so much goes unreported but according The Florida Commission Against Human Trafficking an estimated 10,000 women and girls were trafficked to Miami for sex before the Super Bowl in 2010, and similar numbers if not more can be expected for the New Jersey Game. Jersey is a hub and many believe the states proximity to New York City and diverse population make it an attractive base of operations for traffickers.
It is a traffickers playground. The influx of large crowds, anonymity, drunken binges, and lowered inhibitions foster a breeding ground for pimps and traffickers alike looking to boost their profits. Traffickers are able to make more money in one day from their victims than any other single day of the year. According to the Huff Post “One such trafficker, Manuel A. Walcott, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for offering a 14-year-old girl as a ‘Super Bowl Special’ during the 2009 game in Tampa. When undercover investigators inquired about ‘the special’, they were quoted a price of $300 for two girls — a 14-year-old and an 18-year-old who had been a prostitute for two years.” This is the trend. Young women, children and even men are shuttled from city to city, venue to venue, sold to have sex with sports fans and conventioneers who are traveling without their families. Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, raking in an estimated $9.5 billion a year in the U.S. alone, and $32 billion worldwide. The only reason this business continues to boom is because there is such a huge demand for it and as long as there is a demand the supply will continue.