Sport Without Sex: South Africa’s Scrum Over Soccer

Benjamin skinner ESPN's On The Line talks with E. Benjamin Skinner (seen in picture), one of the world's leading authorities on human trafficking; as well as Melanie Hamman, a freelance photographer based in Johannesburg, about the fears of sexual exploitation surrounding the World Cup. It has been documented in the past that sex trafficking rises around large scale sporting events. However, critics point to Germany's 2006 World Cup and seeming drop in sex trade demand.

Both Benjamin and Melanie address these concerns and questions in the video interview below. In my mind, while some may be scoffing at the concern social justice activists are showing the World Cup, the request of South Africa to Britain for half a million condoms (and the much argued import of 40,000 women) shows there is cause for alarm. Neither the South African government nor FIFA seem to be taking cohesive action on this issue. After hearing what is happening, or not happening, public pressure needs to move for victim support.

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We must take a stand for excellence: in sportsmanship and in life. Yes, athletes work hard at their craft and train their bodies and minds to go for gold. Likewise, we run the race in life of excellence. This does not include exploiting men, women and children for sexual gorging. By creating a market for sex during sporting events, excellence is diminished. Humanity is reduced to predator and prey. It may be funny or expected for the people buying the victims for sex, but I assure you it is no such thing for the slave.

Please… sex is not a sport. It is not acceptable or fun or even thrilling to exploit a person while sharing in a football match. True sportsmanship, whether athlete or spectator, shows integrity, strength and humility… not brawling brutes brandishing victory with a penis, or drowning sorrows with the same weapon. Show the true nature of sport: respect all humanity during the World Cup.

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