I suppose that it is worth noting that football history was made on Sunday night, with a certain comeback led by a certain “amazing” quarterback. There was cheering, crying, indulging, and “I’m skipping work tomorrow’s” heard all over the country. Multiple friends of mine called their families after the game ended to congratulate each other. But as the high from the Pats’ comeback on Sunday night fades to a subtle tinge of triumph, it needs to be said that the national event on Sunday comes with an intense flood of human trafficking.
According to reports, there were around 114 million viewers of the game, almost four times as many as the alleged 30 million who viewed Trump’s inaugural ceremony. Disregarding the reported all-time low viewership for Trump’s inauguration, that means in a certain sense that the 50th Super Bowl has received the most attention of any event in 2017. While it is only February and Trump’s regime has much more havoc to wreak, and Hollywood has much more movies to produce, in terms of the power in viewership (this generation’s form of interaction) the Super Bowl is an extremely powerful event.
Regardless of quantified viewership and unquantifiable emotion poured into the event, I have to wonder the connection why this event has been identified as the largest human trafficking event as well. What about the Super Bowl’s branding, Lady Gaga’s headline, patriotic Bud Lite commercials, draws such an obscene amount of human trafficking compared to other events?
The Super Bowl is one of the most “American” events celebrated nationally; it is a bastion of advertising, ridiculously athletic and physically charged entertainment, crappy alcohol and processed hot dogs, championed by a team geographically rooted in the American Revolution, or the foundation of today’s capitalist-centric, white-centric United States.
What I am asking here is to consider the connection between the human trafficking of women of all ages and the celebration of Tom Brady, the celebration of the Patriots, the celebration of hot dogs and beer, the celebration of white male victory in the United States. These traditions are nothing new to the foundation of the United States, so does the celebration of white masculinity coincide with human trafficking? Is it being exploited by technology, the seductive commercials in between plays, the repeated images of athletic men tackling each other in tight pants?
I am not arguing that the atrocity of human trafficking is inextricably linked to white male victory in the United States, because of course it is more complicated than that. But how intense is the connection of Tom Brady’s branded heroism to the sexual exploitation of young women?