Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Let's Talk About Ched

Ched Evans is a criminal. He has been convicted of his crimes. He has served two and a half years in prison for his crimes. Ched Evans is now out of prison seeking to rehabilitate himself back into society. Ched Evans is a footballer. Kicking a ball for a living is all he knows. The normal rules of society do not seem to adhere to professional sportsman.

Today, Tuesday 11th November 2014, the players union of professional footballers, The Professional Football Association (PFA) made a request to his previous employer, Sheffield United, that Evans be allowed to train with the club.  No decision has been made by the club to re-employ him although why would a club entertain a request without the possibility of future employment.

Footballers are positioned in a vaunted status in British society, they are put on a pedestal by us all. Which young child at school doesn't want to be a professional footballer with all the riches and glamour that come with the role.  However, you get one shot at stardom and if you cock up then you should seek an alternative route to fame and fortune, as your poor lack of judgment has cost you ultimately.

Yet when you are told you are good at something from an early age you believe it is your right to do it for as long as you can.  Evans has only known one skill, to play football. He has represented his country, Wales, and yet he has been convicted of rape.

Upon release, Evans claimed he is innocent and was wrongly convicted. This was exemplified by his failure to show neither remorse nor apologise to the victim of his case.  Evans has released a video statement but has not done any media appearances and go on the charm offensive.  His anonymity is speaking volumes at this time.

When Lee Hughes was jailed for causing death by drink driving, he showed remorse and went and played for a non-league side paying his dues and then being bought by Oldham Athletic and Notts County eventually. Although even his attmept at rehabilitation was not totally successful. He is currently playing for Forest Green Rovers

Evans is becoming a sort of privileged figure, he has served a jail sentence but is going back to work. Would this happen to a binman or school teacher, there is always a period of rehabilitation but none of the stigmatism a sex offender against children would have stained against their name.

Think of this situation. There are female assistant referees in the Football League who no doubt officiate games involving Sheffield United. When they do the handshakes before the game to laughingly portray Respect, what if one of those female assistants choose to not shake the hand of Evans. If this writer is thinking about it, someone higher up in power must be or they think a convicted rapist can shake the hand of a hard working young female under the spotlight of respect.

We can talk about Ched. But Ched needs to speak more for himself instead of hiding behind a governing body which should be ashamed for their stance in this instance. When figures come out about the small number of minority figures in the national sport, that same governing body are giving support to a man who should remain unemployable until he shows remorse for his actions.

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