February 3, 2016

STATEMENT: Broncos Prostitution Sting Reveals the Super Bowl Culture that Enables Sex Trafficking

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE


The Denver Broncos have sent rookie safety Ryan Murphy home after he was detained and questioned Tuesday as part of a prostitution sting in San Jose, California. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) reports that the normalized culture of commercial sex is a leading contributor to the spike in sex trafficking during the Super Bowl and other large sporting events.

“Just days before the Super Bowl, we see a prominent sports figure contributing to the demand for prostitution and sex trafficking,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Prostitution is an inherently exploitive and damaging institution, and is intrinsically linked to sex trafficking. All of the media buzz and awareness about sex trafficking during the Super Bowl ultimately falls short when role models engage in buying sex. Commercial sex, in any form, provides sex traffickers— who are functionally the same as pimps—with the market place to sell individuals.”

“When it comes to prostitution there is widespread ignorance about the harms of sexual exploitation,” Hawkins continued. “The vast majority of individuals in prostitution don’t want to be there. One study found that 89 percent of women in prostitution want to escape, but believe that they have no other options for survival. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation offers the Broncos a training workshop on the harms of sexual exploitation, and the role that they can play in helping to prevent it, in the hope that these role models can lead the way in defending dignity.”

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