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Three NBA Players Went to a Brazilian Brothel, and We Made a Joke of it.

On August 5, three NBA players and Olympian athletes were caught visiting a high-end brothel in Rio de Janeiro. Had you heard about it? Probably not. 

Because no one cared.

After photos went out of the three athletes posing with women and alcohol in the brothel, "a source" explained that they thought they were going to a male spa and left after they realized they were not, in fact, at a spa. (Not before stopping to take a few photos though, I guess.)

I don't know if their story is true or not. It seems pretty sketchy. But here's the problem. These athletes and celebrities, who are representing us to the world, at the least gave the appearance of using prosititutes -- and our media thinks it's funny.

USA TODAY'S story on the incident had this headline: "If U.S. men's basketball players want to visit a brothel, who cares?" The reporter says about the players' intentions, "Who knows, and frankly, who cares? That very concept that finely tuned, highly paid NBA superstars might seek out entertainment that is on the, ahem, raunchier side of the spectrum, would hardly come as a shock."

Yahoo! Sports said this in their report: "let it be said we personally couldn’t care less and we contain no outrage that the guys decided to have a drink – or pretty much do anything else – inside a noted Brazilian brothel. Whatever."

Who cares. Whatever. I hope these words sicken you a little bit, friend. But if not, here are four reasons why you should care about our Olympians visiting a brothel.
1. Prostitution is not "raunchy entertainment." It is one human being being sold as an object for another human being's enjoyment. Even in situations like Rio's high end brothel, prostitution is never physically, mentally or emotionally healthy for the person whose body is being reduced to a commodity.

2. We're dulling our senses to the greater problem. As our men's basketball players were visiting a brothel in Rio, hundreds of thousands of underage girls were being sold for sex at truck stops, brothels and in their own homes across Brazil. Girls as young as 9 years old are sold to men for $4 per encounter, several times a night. Brazil is not the only country where this injustice is spreading. Girls are being sold, oppressed, and abused across the world. But if we see prostitution as normal, we are unlikely to be affected by the atrocities these girls are facing. They deserve better than our indifference, and they certainly deserve better than our amusement.

3. There is no "us" and "them."
USA TODAY implied in its article that we shouldn't be surprised by what happened in Rio because the three men who visited the brothel were highly paid superstars. So who gets a trump card to do whatever unjust and immoral behavior they want? Celebrities? Americans? Young people? If we are going to believe in any morals at all, if we are going to believe in any human dignity at all, it has to be true for every single person. Every poor young girl who can't afford to eat, every rich basketball player, and everyone in between.

4. The less we care, the less good we can do.
There is so much bad in the world, and so many shifting morals, that we tend to just scroll through our news feed with little more than a shoulder shrug. We don't have to face the world's problems, we don't have to solve them, so we keep scrolling. But you and I have the opportunity to be world changers! We have time, education and resources that people all over the world do not have. Will we use those resources to do something for those who are suffering? Or will we just use our resources to entertain ourselves? If we don't wake up and care about events like these, we've already made our decision.

Ready to do something? Read about an organization working to help girls at risk in Brazil or learn more about The Exodus Road, the organization that Speak Justice supports.

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