Steelers Stepping Up To Tackle A Very Troubling Issue

Some things in life are just great. For diehard sports fans, there are few better feelings than when your favorite team wins a championship, for example. There are any number of things in which we indulge to enrich our lives for the better.

Frequently enough, we turn to these elements because we are looking to escape the horrors of our own lives and of the world around thus. There is no shortage of horrible things that we hear about in a daily basis going on all around the world, and even in our own cities.

One of them is child sex trafficking.

One would think that this is a pretty clear-cut issue. Who the hell isn’t against child sex trafficking? Of course, if you find one who isn’t, then you might have an arrest on your hands ready to be made. The fact that it is a growing—and very illegal, to state the obvious—industry suggests that it’s not as universal a view as it needs to be.

Part of the problem with the issue is that it’s just such an abhorrent thing to even think about that, well, we don’t think about it. And we don’t talk about it. And so we don’t know how to identify it when we see the signs, at times. We are all powerless to stop the evils we can’t see.

The reason I’m writing about this is because the Pittsburgh Steelers and Head Coach Mike Tomlin have recently partnered with an organization called Operation Underground Railroad, or O.U.R., which consists of “former law enforcement and Navy Seals who exist plain and simple to rescue children from the horror that is sex trafficking”, Teresa Varley wrote in an article on the team’s website announcing the union.

“It really captured our attention. We got behind”, Tomlin said after originally meeting the group earlier this year, then again in training camp, and now during their bye week. “This is something that is easy to get behind”.

“As a football group we are uniquely aligned. We get an opportunity to use our platform and get aligned behind this”, he said of the platform of professional athletes. “This is something that everybody within our group, every man, to a man, got behind. I look forward to further involvement moving forward”.

Tim Ballard, the founder of the organization, said that it is “one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises on the planet”, and that “there are millions of children forced into the commercial sex trade here in the U.S. and outside. We utilize every mechanism possible to infiltrate these places where children are being sold”.

He didn’t mince his words, either. “The United States is the highest consumer of child pornography”, he pointed out. “We are the problem. We are the demand”.

I know that many take the view that “sports and politics shouldn’t mix”, and that’s fair. But I would like to think that this is a pretty non-controversial stance the Steelers are taking here on this issue.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Steve Johnson

    Pretty sad issue, and to think it is happening here in the U.S. Even worse, many are completely ignorant of the problem, to include myself. No one should ever be forced to have sex, especially a child. Kudos to the Steelers for stepping up.

  • Jacob

    “one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises on the planet.”

    There are no words to describe how disgusting this statement is.

  • Jim McCarley

    Pedophiles stand for the anthem, so they’re cool….really?

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Where in the world are you seeing that? I read it four times and can’t figure out what point you’re trying to make.

  • PleasefireGoodell

    This is a good thing. Happy they are doing it.

    What’s ironic is Tomlin was a Hillary donor and she was pro abortion almost up until full term.

    Google planned parenthood and research it. They kill mainly African American babies.

    The irony is; save the international sex trade kids and kill American babies.

  • will

    And Bill frequents an island where under age girls are brought in for sex.

  • will

    THIS is the swamp that needs to be drained.

  • WilliamSekinger

    This is how to use your platform as world class athletes to help make the world a better place.

    I really hope the athletes get it. All the kneeling in the world won’t change a dang thing, but getting involved with an issue you care about can change things for the better.

  • SilverSteel

    Well said.

  • kjacksonpgh

    I agree that this is a good thing however what everyone does not realize is that kneeling is what got a more of a global discussion going about the real issue and not the fake issue that has been created by others that players are disrespecting the flag or the anthem.

    Players decided to use this time at the beginning of the game since this is the only time they can be seen and that everyone would be in attendance as opposed to doing this at the end of the game.

    Many African American children and adults are senselessly being killed by a few bad white law enforcement officers and even being caught on video abusing their authority. Most are not even prosecuted for murdering African American people. I have officers in my family and I know it is a very difficult job, but that is why you are trained how to shoot, restrain and subdue individuals that should not always lead to murder.

    While kneeling won’t change everything it has at least started a discussion about the real issues as it relates to the above paragraph I have outlined above. Not trying to be political just explaining the entire issue as it should be understood, and not the false narrative that that it has now become.

  • dany

    That, irrational statement, was proven false several times over. But as was stated at the bottom, politics at the door

  • Jaybird

    Oh just stop . You turn an article about doing trying to do something good about a horrible act into a post about your political beliefs. Only an idiot could turn something good into something bad simply becuase you disagree with their politics. You are everything that is wrong with the country.

  • Matt Manzo

    Hopefully we all become more aware of this issue! It’s one of those things that’s so ugly it’s hard for the mainstream to give it a face. I’m proud that the Steelers are doing something about!
    I also love the idea of a team of bad asses hunting these guys down! They should add some ninjas!

  • Generic Steelers Fan

    This is more ridiculous than the satire comments I make.

  • pittfan


  • Aj Gentile

    When the Super Bowl is one of the largest sex trafficking events in the world then this conversation needs to happen. Many are unaware about how much child trafficking happens in the United States, many believing it only happens in other countries. This is something ever team should help with. This is a serious issues that needs to be talked about more.

  • Obi Ryn Denobi

    Some ‘people’ think their money entitles them to anything their ‘family values’ desire! And there are one or two things occasionally more important than football.

    Real men ‘should’ protect the innocent and most vulnerable in our midst instead of championing the most vile and violent. Just because you possess the power to torture, demean, degrade, oppress and enslave doesn’t make you more powerful when you choose evil, only your self-proclaimed greatness more laughable!

    Ethnicities are not evil, weapons and their champions who value war toys over playgrounds safe from small arms fire — are! Evil resides in the growing lack of any empathy whatsoever or even understanding of the concept of empathy, equating instead empathy with weakness — its absolute opposite.

    We live in a ‘society’ that calls news ‘fake’ and lies ‘alt-facts’ and cackle at their cleverness over the ‘elites’ — their term for those still ‘stupid’ enough to care and to empathize with the plights of those many less fortunate, while ‘populists’ in towers of laundered Russian mob gold whine about the horrible unfairness of their ‘plight’ — having the veracity of their tsunami of deliberate distortions challenged by those whose job it is to challenge those. And investigate the growing mountain of felony crimes they hide!

    That children are being sold into SLAVERY in a country where a third of the population still pines over the loss of and feverishly anticipates the return to the ‘greatness’ of their ‘states rights’ to own people again, just like the ‘good old days’ should be shocking, but sadly isn’t, the ‘alt-fact’ press releases blaming all such ‘problems’ on the ‘libs’ and immigrants already written and accepted as ‘gospel!’

    That at least the Steelers care is to be lauded and hopefully emulated by a new resurgence of caring enough to fight for our young countrymen’s freedom! And while we’re at it, maybe even rescue our own!!

    Let the hate begin!

  • Matthew Marczi

    Was this a response to something written in the article or some kind of inexplicable tangent?

  • pittfan

    Kudos to the Steeler organization, those law enforcement officers, and Navy SEALS who are actually DOING SOMETHING about this scourge. It’s one thing to “care” about an issue and quite another to actually do something about it.

    What is does do is underscore the societal rot many of us see. Made clearer by the revelations coming out everyday from Harveywood, now that the cone of silence has been lifted. This is what happens when “anything goes”. We have rapist like Roman Polanski being applauded by Hollywood and all sorts of rot being portrayed in movies and music.

    These traffickers take advantage of our porous immigration/border enforcement to either smuggle the kids in or bring them in on visas, knowing there will be no follow up on their overstay. Once here, they are preyed upon by scumbags who have a depraved sense of morality.

  • PleasefireGoodell

    We aren’t any different Jay. If someone votes for a politician because it’s “their” party, and they ignore their party’s immoral values, then it is all about politics and not people. I don’t understand why the anger at me because I don’t want to see millions of babies aborted?

    I’m evil for not pushing rampant abortions? and people who help deliver those out of the sex trade are good? I thought they were both good causes?

  • PleasefireGoodell

    There are conflicting reports for sure. Hard to decipher the truth. But PP does push abortions.

  • Jaybird

    This isn’t the format for that kind of discussion first of all. Second why can’t you just just leave it at Tomlin and the Steelers doing a good thing by supporting an effort to stop a hideous crime like sex trafficking. Why the need to attach something negative to that?
    Anyway enjoy the the second half of the season, it’s shaping up to be a good one.

  • pittfan

    To veterans, and many many others, disrespecting the flag is not a fake issue. If anything, exaggerating the extent of of wrongful police shooting is.

  • Richard Edlin

    No country is perfect. Those that try to help their own countries are generally supported more internationally than at home, as those making a stand aren’t causing strife elsewhere.

    Much of the rest of the world can’t work out why the US seems to embrace its flaws with gusto. (How many mass shootings this year?) American exceptionalism is a bit of a joke in this respect.

  • Richard Edlin

    Ashton Kutcher’s hard to take seriously as an activist but really seems to put a lot of time/effort into this too.

  • kjacksonpgh

    Again, I am only outlining the issue as I understand it. I never meant to imply that disrespecting the flag or the anthem was a fake issue only that the players took a knee to draw attention to police injustice against people of color. It is not an exaggeration but fact that this is a real issue and one that makes people uncomfortable to discuss.

    Some veterans have been offended and others understood the reasoning including former Seahawks player and Green Beret Nate Boyer who advised CK to take a knee. He has a unique prospective as both a player and a soldier.