The dark side of major sports events

Hosting a major sports event, such as the Super Bowl or the NCAA Men’s Final Four, provides a big boost in prestige and the economy for the local community involved. Minneapolis has been fortunate to host both events within the past 14 months.

But there is also a dark side to these events. They tend to draw more of the wrong kind of “hospitality” trade — human trafficking.

For some reason, the festive attitude surrounding these events and the large amounts of money flying around makes some people think they deserve to enjoy themselves to an illegal degree.

Minnesota law enforcement authorities took the opportunity of the Final Four to conduct sex trafficking stings from April 4-8. On Wednesday the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced the results. Nearly five dozen people were arrested — 47 for probable cause of solicitation of a minor. Eleven were booked for sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution.

Best of all, 28 victims were rescued from their traffickers, including one minor.

It will be a great day when society rejects this kind of activity, making it so unacceptable that police won’t have to conduct stings during what should be very festive occasions for sports fans around the country.