Can't wait for your Super Bowl party this weekend? Just be glad it's at home this year. The greatest game of the year is the worst place to be if you're a teenager.
Something like 10,000 teen prostitutes and their johns are expected to be in Dallas this week. Yes, you read that right. Nestled right in with the Lombardi Trophy and those silly commercials is a scandal of stadium-sized proportions. And don't blame Dallas. The Super Bowl, according to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, "is a magnet for child sex traffickers." I think I may have just lost my appetite for chips, salsa, and sitting in front of the big screen on Sunday.
Why the Super Bowl? What's so bad about a bunch of football fans in one place? Apparently it's just the sheer numbers. There are more people in town for a Super Bowl than for your average convention or regular season game. More people means there's a higher number of freaks -- it's the law of percentages rather than anything particularly nefarious about gridiron junkies.
Phewww! We can still be fans! We don't have to send the little Packers or little Steelers outfits back just yet! Because it's not the city's fault. And it's not the fault of either team in particular.
But that doesn't mean everyone's blameless here. There's a pattern of these teen prostitutes being pimped out at Super Bowl after Super Bowl. Why isn't the NFL doing something to thwart these crazies?
We're talking about kids. Kids who, according to statistics from Traffick911, a Texas-based non-profit that fights sex trafficking, will likely die within seven years of being forced into the trade. And this year they're in Texas, the nation's hot spot for sex trafficking.
We're talking about a game that often garners more viewers than any other TV show on the air all year. It's a perfect platform to spread the word about a horror that affects 100,000 teens in America. It's also a game that earns millions of dollars for the NFL. Spreading that around on behalf of children in desperate situations would be a public relations bonanza -- company does good with its money while the world is watching.
At press time, there were close to 70,000 signatures on an Internet petition begging the NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee to stand up for the kids on Sunday, and there's been no response.
I will still be watching the Super Bowl this weekend, but knowing this will forever change my opinion of the NFL. How about you?
Image via mikebaird/Flickr