Super Bowl LIV is in the books. For only the second time in 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs are the world champions. MVP Patrick Mahomes is headed to Disneyworld and Andy Reid, the winningest active coach without a Lombardi Trophy to his credit, is probably headed to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
It’s all over but the shouting, as they say, but what shouting it is. No one’s talking much about what happened during the game. It was a fair contest between evenly matched teams that made for good viewing. Mention the halftime show, however, and you’re asking for trouble. For those who might have missed it, the show put on by the NFL was scandalously sexual, which may have kept viewers from tuning out but seems a strange choice in a year in which the big game is in at least partially dedicated to the promotion of female equality. Singers Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, clad in costumes that seemed to get skimpier as the show went on, undulated, twerked and, combined with JLo’s dancing around a pole, has been labeled by the Twittersphere as something decidedly less than family-friendly.
Some folks are defending the show, calling it a tribute to the lead performers Latina heritage and a statement of support for immigrant children held in detention today thanks to policies first put in place during the Obama administration. Nonetheless, days later people are still talking about it.
All that’s an interesting juxtaposition to the NFL’s stated effort to crack down on sex trafficking activities associated with the Super Bowl. A 2014 study conducted by Arizona State University conducted for the McCain Institute argues the nexus between the event and an uptick in trafficking is more media hype than reality, but it’s still an opportunity for a discussion of one of the true blights on mankind.
Before the game, and this is probably not a coincidence, the Trump administration announced a major initiative to crack down on sex trafficking both in the United States and around the world. “My administration is 100 percent committed to eradicating human trafficking from the Earth,” the president said at the end of January. But, since America’s liberal media superstars refuse to give him credit for doing anything right, this story ended up buried if it got covered at all.
The reality is that Donald Trump is the first president in the modern era to take trafficking seriously. As he acknowledged in his remarks at the recent White House forum on the issue, an estimated 25 million people around the world today are being held captive, manipulated and abused by human traffickers. The National Human Trafficking Hotline identified more than 23,000 victims in the U.S. in 2018 alone, 65 percent of whom were women.
The Trump Justice Department has already taken the steps necessary to shut down what had been one of the Internet’s leading — some say the leading site for online trafficking. ICE has arrested more than 5,000 traffickers, and the president has signed into law nine pieces of legislation that passed Congress on a bipartisan basis aimed specifically at combatting human trafficking domestically and around the globe. And that’s just the beginning. As the president said, in addition to the $430 million currently being spent to fight labor and sex trafficking, his new executive order on the issue, signed Jan. 30, builds on what has thus far been done. This is a serious effort to take on one of the most serious issues of our time. If there’s anything to discuss right now in the aftermath of the Super Bowl, it’s this — not what the Internet has to say about a pair of fading pop stars with more dollars than common decency.