Thursday marked World Day Against Trafficking, and millions around the country took part in demonstrations to highlight an important issue. Former NHL player Brooks Laich was among this group as he partnered with Operation Underground Railroad to help provide awareness. He took part in a strenuous workout, shot handguns, learned about emergency aid and conducted tactical drills.
Laich showed support for O.U.R. as he made his second consecutive appearance during a Buttery Bros documentary on YouTube. He joined filmmakers Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers, as well as UFC fighter Maycee Barber, for an important workout at CrossFit O.U.R. They took part in a considerable number of push-ups, running and box step-ups to help raise awareness about human trafficking. Laich wore a 20-pound weight vest for the workout and finished with a time of 16:50. He also asked his followers to try to beat his time and help end human trafficking.
Laich explained during the video that he first heard about the organization during a Tony Robbins event in 2018. He broke down in tears after learning about the issue and made an immediate donation. The founder of O.U.R., former special agent Timothy Ballard, reached out to Laich after receiving the donation and asked to meet the former hockey player. They went to lunch together in Los Angeles. Since that day, Laich has "wanted to get more involved" in the organization.
When they weren't doing 120 push-ups, 120 step-ups and running a combined 1,200 meters, Laich and the other participants were learning some valuable skills. They first headed to a gun range in Utah and practiced target shooting. They then practiced putting life-saving tourniquets on "wounded" teammates while another person provided security. Finally, they headed to a tactical warehouse and practiced clearing rooms.
Founded Ballard in 2013, O.U.R. has worked to end human trafficking and child slavery around the world. Ballard and his team work with law enforcement agencies to identify trafficking operations and conduct extraction operations. As he explained, human trafficking and child slavery is a "$150,000,000,000 industry," which is enough money to buy every Starbucks franchise in the world, along with every NBA team. The money left over could still send "every American child to college for four years."
According to the organization's website, O.U.R. has helped rescue 3,800 victims during its six years in existence. Additionally, it has assisted in the arrests of more than 2,100 traffickers around the world. This venture includes missions in Haiti, India, Thailand and Cambodia, among others.