The Super Bowl We Don’t See

This Sunday is one of if not the most prolific sporting events of the year. The World Cup is a larger event that spans an entire summer but only every four years. The NCAA basketball tournament, dubbed March Madness, causes the most lost work time of any sporting event as people fill out office brackets, watch games on their computer and skip work in order to stay home and enjoy the day of nothing but college hoops. But none of these events rivals the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched events of the year. The Super Bowl has the most spectacular array of entertainment. The Super Bowl is an excuse for more food to be consumed than any other event of its kind. You probably aren’t surprised by any of this. You may, however, be surprised to know that the Super Bowl is the largest sex-trafficking event in the United States.

According to an article in the Sacramento Bee and other online sites, while football fans pour into Indiana this week for the game, traffickers in the sex trade are gearing up for their most profitable weekend of the year. Some reports estimate that 10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl! One former sex slave says that there are 100,000 American kids being trafficked!

I’ve talked with some people in the church recently about the problem of sex trafficking at the Super Bowl and their reaction was the same as mine when I was presented with this information: I had no idea! We’re just thinking about the game, but for hundreds of women and children, this weekend is one more horrific event in their nightmarish life.

The good news is that a number of groups are doing something about it. 220 hotels within a 50 mile radius of the Indianapolis stadium have been contacted, asking what they are doing to educate their staff and hand delivering anti-trafficking materials to hotel management. Companies in the travel and tourism sector have also been contacted so that they might help identify and stop this heinous practice. The Indiana state legislature and Governor Daniels have enacted tough legislation with a two-fold purpose: to discourage traffickers from being present and to severely punish those who do attend.

The action being taken at the Super Bowl is to be lauded. Unfortunately, the evil of human trafficking continues year round. If we care about human life, this is an issue that ought to shake us to our Christian core.

What can we do? We must pray—for this weekend and throughout the year. We must pray for those who are called to be on the front lines of this battle against the evil one and his minions at this event and every day of the year. We must educate ourselves to the need through which we might ask God to show how we can be involved as His representatives to vulnerable people He loves with all of His being. World Hope International (email address) and Hope61 (subsidiary of One Mission Society) are two of the many organizations working in this vast sea of need. We can give—of our time, energy and resources.

Enjoy the game. Ask God to do a miracle for those who cannot.