In the Olympics, more than 200 nations compete in 300 athletic events. It’s a two week period where team solidarity and national pride unite a global community. It’s a chance for those in the limelight to shine light on not only athletic talent, but their desire to see justice reign.
South African Olympian, Graeme Moore, is not only an internationally elite athlete, but also an individual who cares about the world’s fastest growing illicit industry— modern-day slavery. Born in Johannesburg, he attributes his heart for social justice to growing up in a country where social inequality was quite prevalent, making him strikingly aware of the importance of human rights and socioeconomic opportunity.
Despite competing in two Olympic events— 400 Freestyle Relay (July 29th) and 100 Freestyle Individual (July 31st)— Graeme found the time to take the Slavery Footprint survey and found out that he has 42 slaves working for him. Says Graeme, “I am now more aware of my actions as a consumer and the sources and origins of the products that I buy.” While he hopes that businesses would “rethink the way they do business, and where and how they extract their raw materials”, he also believes that consumers have a responsibility to demand products made without slave labor, a step he has already taken. Using Slavery Footprint’s action center, Graeme has sent several letters to some of his favorite brands, asking each to actively search for slavery within their supply chains. Post- Olympics, he’ll continue to send letters.
“As athletes, we are given a lot of free gear, and we use a lot of equipment. We have no idea where the materials come from, or how they are produced. The platform I have to be on an elite sports stage allows me to lead by example, and to take part in making people aware of the injustices of the world. We all must do our part”.
This Olympic season, as you cheer on your favorite athletes, remember that global unity can be brought by not only an event, but a cause. Join the movement, take the survey. Together we can make a difference.