Ched Evans signs for Oldham Athletic

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Rapist Ched Evans signs for Oldham Athletic
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Scrolling through Facebook the other night I saw a post that suggested that Ched Evans was in talks with my hometown's football club with regards to signing a contract and it got me all riled up. My other half and I got into a bit of a debate because after I commented on the post it came to light that we have totally differing opinions on this subject. As it happens, Evans has now since signed for Oldham Athletic (a deal that has led to three of Oldham's official sponsors cutting all ties with the club) so our debate was pointless, but it's been on my mind a lot.

The subject is very sensitive, to some more than others for obvious reasons, but it is one that I feel very strongly about. I believe that someone who has been convicted of a crime of this nature in particular does not deserve to carry on their life as they were before their conviction. Being a footballer in the spotlight is a privilege that many aspiring young people work towards, and after committing the  disgusting offence that he has, why should Evans still reap the rewards of that privilege? He won't be earning a premiership wage, but it will still be more than he deserves and much more than the average Joe Bloggs earns. Everyone knows the remuneration and perks that come with being a professional footballer.  In this role he'll be looked upon as a role model by young football players and fans alike; meanwhile his victim has had to change her name and address due to being absolutely vilified by members of the public including Evan's fans. What sort of message does this send? That someone can be convicted of abusing their somewhat 'celebrity' status, be unfaithful to their partner and rape a young woman in a hotel room, serve half their sentence and then continue to live the life of riley while the victim suffers? Although in the eyes of the law he is guilty, to this day he is still protesting his innocence and has not  apologised to his victim or her family, and does not seem to understand or show any remorse for the distress he has caused.

Having now been placed on the sex offenders register, one would assume that Evans is not able to take part in any youth training groups that Oldham Athletic offer through their youth academy. Many employment offers are subject to in depth CRB checks and some contracts even state that any criminal offences of this nature will result in instant dismissal for bringing the company into disrepute. Numerous employers would not employ someone on the sex offenders register - why is this not the case within the FA?

I believe that Ched Evan's case highlights a far greater moral issue than the question of whether or not he should be allowed to play professionally, but in fact emphasises the discord between what is acceptable for ordinary people and those within the public eye. As a national and extremely high profile organisation, should the FA not be setting an example in this respect?


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