When Free the Slaves was founded over ten years ago, it was a challenge to convince people that slavery was still alive today—and that it was going on in our own back yards. Through years of awareness-raising by FTS and other anti-slavery organizations, the tide has turned, and more and more people are understanding that modern-day slavery exists, and there are actions you can take to help eradicate it.
So it is always heartening to see the topic of modern-day slavery tackled in popular culture and mainstream media. It shows that this issue is being embraced by more people. That new eyes and ears are learning to look out for signs of slavery. That there will be more people working to end it.
Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ video was said to be an avant-garde portrayal of sex trafficking. (This didn’t go down well with everyone—but it certainly sparked discussion.) TV shows Law & Order SVU and Hawaii Five-O both recently had episodes that focused on slavery.
And just today, in an interview with Yahoo Sports, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson compared treatment of NFL players to “modern-day slavery.” This was said in reaction to a breakdown of negotiations between NFL players and owners over the distribution of money.
This “slavery” comment, needless to say, instantly sparked controversy. Yahoo Sports took down the quote earlier today, and then put it back up.
Meanwhile, Greenbay Packers running back Ryan Grant tweeted in response: “Their [sic] is unfortunately actually still slavery existing in our world.. Literal modern day slavery.. That was a very misinformed statement.”