Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|January 6, 2021
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
Attorney General Moody Enlists Airport in Effort to Prevent Human Trafficking Ahead of Super Bowl LV
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is enlisting a major international travel hub in the battle to prevent human trafficking ahead of Super Bowl LV. Along with It’s a Penalty, Attorney General Moody today unveiled human trafficking awareness signs at Tampa International Airport. The messages are placed strategically throughout the airport to encourage travelers to report human trafficking and urge victims being flown in for the big game to reach out for help. The signs are just one part of a multifaceted blitz to increase human trafficking reporting as thousands of visitors are expected to utilize the airport during the week of the Super Bowl.
This is the second year in a row Florida is hosting the Super Bowl. According to police reports from the 2020 Super Bowl in Miami, 47 human trafficking related arrests were made, which lead to the rescue of 22 victims. Law enforcement officials anticipate similar trafficking efforts to take place this year in Tampa.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Super Bowl LIV brought many adoring fans to our state last year, ready to fully enjoy the game and festivities. Unfortunately, as with any event attracting huge crowds, the event also attracted black market vendors and customers. Human traffickers exploit these types of events to increase their terrible transactions at the expense of their captives and the benefit of their bottom line. Sadly, even the deadly pandemic will not stop these criminals from targeting our state, but we are ready to stop them. We have home field advantage and are united in our efforts to combat human trafficking ahead of Super Bowl LV in Tampa.
“I am proud to partner with It’s a Penalty to bring human trafficking awareness signs to Tampa International Airport ahead of this year’s Super Bowl. With thousands expected to travel through the airport in the week leading up to the game, these signs will offer travelers and potential victims invaluable—and in some cases life-saving—information and resources.”
It’s a Penalty CEO Sarah de Carvalho said, “The full support of state law enforcement, including the Office of the Attorney General, is vital to our campaign because it heightens the awareness of the public while providing them with mechanisms to make a report.”
While there may not be as much travel to Tampa for the Super Bowl this year as in years past, law enforcement warns of the potential for human trafficking. Even with COVID-19 reducing travel nationwide, Tampa is still preparing and expecting visitors to the city in the week leading up to Super Bowl LV.
As travelers flock to the state in anticipation for the big game, Attorney General Moody and It’s a Penalty’s signage will be exposed to those traveling in and out of the airport—proving to be an invaluable resource for victims in need of help and fellow travelers in learning to spot the signs and how to report cases of human trafficking.
As many plan on traveling to Tampa from across the state and country for Super Bowl LV, Attorney General Moody encourages all Floridians to familiarize themselves with ways to spot human trafficking, such as:
- Individuals displaying fear, anxiousness, paranoia or a reluctancy to discuss injuries;
- Physical injuries, such as burns, branding, disorientation, scars, tattoos, etc.;
- Speaking as if coached or having someone else speak for them; and
- Suffering from drug addiction, infections or sleep deprivation.
If you suspect or witness an instance of human trafficking, contact local law enforcement or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1(888) 373-7888.
NFL stars including Aaron Rodgers, Chris Godwin, William Gholston and Nick Foles can be seen on the signage throughout the airport, but they aren’t the only athletes joining the fight to end human trafficking.
Last October, former Gator great and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow gave the keynote address for Attorney General Moody’s record-breaking virtual 2020 Human Trafficking Summit. The Summit includes more than 16 hours of information and resources delivered by local, state and national leaders working together to erase this form of modern-day slavery from our society. All of the content, including Tebow’s keynote address and Attorney General Moody’s opening remarks, is still available by accessing the virtual Summit here.
Today’s sign unveiling is just one element of a much larger anti-trafficking campaign currently underway. Attorney General Moody will be making more anti-trafficking announcements in the weeks leading up to kickoff.