Following Oldham Athletic’s decision to pull out of signing convicted rapist Ched Evans, Exeposé Sport and friends discuss whether the former Sheffield United striker deserves a second chance and a return to professional football.
James Beeson- Sport Editor
The way I understand the events that transpired which led to Ched Evans being sentenced to five years in prison for the rape of a 19 year-old woman is thus: Evans freely admits to having watched his friend have sex with a woman in a hotel room, and then having sex with her himself, despite being fully aware of her intoxicated state at the time. Evans then ‘escaped’ the hotel via a fire escape the following morning.
To me, and to the law as well, this makes Evans guilty of rape. However, in the eyes of Evans, and his supporters, it does not. Fine, but until Evans finishes his full sentence (and no, two and a half years of a five year sentence is not a sentence completed), or has his conviction overturned, he remains a convicted rapist, and cannot be allowed to return to the game
My major problem with Ched Evans returning to football is simple: he has failed to show an ounce of remorse for what he has done. Regardless of whether Evans thinks he is guilty or not, before he is allowed to be rehabilitated and resume a normal life, he must apologise for his actions. And I’m talking about a sincere and genuine apology to his victim, not the embarrassment of an apology to his girlfriend that appeared on The Daily Mail, or the ambiguous expression of regret “for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people” in The Guardian.
Evans must say sorry, firstly for his actions, and secondly for the actions of his sup-porters, who made the life of his victim so unbearable that she had to relocate and change her identity five times. He must stop protesting innocence and accept what he has done. Only then can he be reintegrated into society.
As things stand, the former Sheffield United striker has shown no grasp of the meaning of the term ‘consent’, or the severity of his actions, and hence is a long way from any kind of rehabilitation, and even further from deserving a second chance in the game.