If You Don’t Do It, Then Who Is?
Dateline: Chicago. Professional baseball player Adam LaRoche walked away from a $13m contract in order to spend time in Bangkok red light districts posing as a sex tourist to rescue Thai girls from sexual slavery. Wearing a hidden camera, he recorded transactions. “You've just got to understand that if you don't do it, then who is?” he said. “You can pay for a short time, you can pay for a long time,” he said, shaking his head in bewilderment. "I wasn't scared and chalk that up to maybe I'm not real smart…”
The following story is true. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Dateline: Red Light District- Bangkok
This reporter from the Chicago Tribune was in the small cramped apartment of Poy Srivadukul, a former bar girl and coyote dancer from the Isaan region of Northeast Thailand, who has just resigned from her position earning 250,000 baht a month in order to travel to America and rescue professional baseball players from involuntary servitude.
The following are her words (grammar and syntax have been cleaned up).
“When I discovered and learned from my pastor about the slavery going on in America with young white males I realized I had to do something about it.
“The more I learned, the more shocked I became.
“It starts at a very young age, 5 or 6 years, when young American boys are forced into something called “Little League”. They are made to stand for hours on end in places like “left field” while older men (sometimes even the fathers of other poor boys) yell and scream at them. One father is designated as “umpire” (sometimes called “papa-san”) and his job is to try to maintain control over the boys, sometimes hitting them with sticks called “bats”.
“By the time the boys get to be teenagers they are thoroughly traumatized. Competition to be the best “ball player” is fierce. Sometimes the young men have their arms amputated in a procedure known as “Tommy John Surgery”.
Poy wiped away a tear, but continued.
“It gets worse after high school. Without any say in the matter, the boys are “drafted” by teams whose only objective is to use their bodies to make money. They are shipped off to hellholes such as Durham or Charlotte, or, even worse, Oklahoma and Texas. They must compete for favors in something called the “minor leagues”. The boys spend hours on busses and living four to a room, with nothing to eat but McDonalds.
“If they succeed, they then move to the “major leagues”. Remember they have no control over who owns them. Bodies are bought and sold. Teams “trade” these young men and they are forced at a moments notice to move from one city to the next. The most famous ballplayer of all, Baby Rut, was sold from the Boston team to the New York team for $125,000! And this was in 1920. Can you imagine buying and selling these young men?? This horrible practice goes on today.”
Poy continued packing her suitcase.
“Then, when the men get too old and their bodies are no longer considered useful to make their owners money, they are thrown aside for a younger, more athletic person. This is done in a ceremony called “retiring the uniform.”
“Oh. Did I mention that these men have to perform every night in front of large crowds, sometimes with thousands of people watching? And it is televised on TV? Their parents must be so ashamed. How can these men return to their village after so much loss of face? Who would marry them?”
Poy cried silently for a while, and then, with my encouragement, picked up her tale.
“This happens not only in baseball. Oh no. It also happens in American football. There are things called “combines” where young men, mostly black, strip down until they are almost naked and are forced to perform feats of endurance while hundreds of scouts record their every move, and compare them and give rankings. The highest ranked get drafted on national TV, while the entire country watches to see which city gets to enslave the best body.
“The police know all about this, but do nothing. Sometime I have heard the police even participate in a ceremony known as “singing the national anthem” which goes on just before the young men have to destroy each other in a fight to the death which lasts hours. “
Poy stared to put some toiletries in her suitcase.
“And in England, there is something called the “Premier League” where young Brazilian boys are stolen from their homes and sent to places like Manchester and Liverpool, where they are never heard from again.
“It doesn’t end there. In New Zealand, the young men are fed so much they grow gruesome bodies, made to wear all black and do something called the haka before their weekly performance. I have handled snakes on stage but nothing as degrading as that!”
Poy burst into tears and sobbed for a while.
“That’s why I am going to America, to do what I can to bring attention to this hideous practice of modern day slavery. I have a hidden camera located in my…”Poy shyly looked down at her crotch.
“I am not scared. I will go directly into the locker rooms where naked young men with beautiful bodies will be. If I don’t do it, then who will?”
She put an industrial strength bottle of mouthwash on the top of her suitcase.
“BJ’s,” she said, and smiled.