Player Ambassador Brad Keller is using the pitcher’s mound for more than eliminating batters. He’s winding up to raise awareness about human trafficking; appealing to baseball fans to support the organizations that work day in and day out to strike out slavery.
Q: How did you learn about human trafficking?
A: I grew up in Atlanta, where the industry has existed for years. I always heard stories but never really knew what it was really about. Today Atlanta is one of the top (as in worst) cities for human trafficking.
Q: What drew you to Strike Out Slavery?
A: Albert Pujols approached me through the Royals and Strike Out Slavery, wondering if I would be interested in being a Player Ambassador. I was honored and wanted to get involved. But when I learned how pervasive human trafficking is and how many millions of people it harms, I felt an urgency to use this platform to make baseball fans aware of this hideous practice and to support groups fighting it.
Q: What do you think people would be most surprised to learn about human trafficking?
A: That it is slavery in its modern form, and it happens in their town. Traffickers have no boundaries – they will prey on kids and teenagers, or even adults in vulnerable situations. It happens here in Kansas City, it happens everywhere.
Q: How can baseball fans learn more about modern-day slavery?
A: Do more than online research. Come out to the Family Festivals this summer and talk to the people who are fighting this pandemic. Listen to the stories and the conversations of survivors. Do all you can to support the organizations that exist just to wipe out human trafficking.
Q: What can people do if they have been a victim of human trafficking?
A: There is support out there. Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree to 233733.