Ched Evans: The things you should be thinking about
THE Ched Evans case has been an incredibly emotive case, where people have tried to defend the convicted rapist and, horrifyingly, chased after the victim, presumably believing that she’s stitched an honest lad up.
Model, Nicola McLean, defended Evans and his potential move to Oldham Athletic (which has fallen through) on Twitter, saying: “OK let me get this right! After you leave prison are you not allowed to get a job? Or is that rule reserved only if you kick a ball?”
“Mike Tyson 3 years for rape went straight back to boxing and a movie star rolemodel ? and he maintains his innocence.” “Luke McCormick killed two brothers while drink driving and was later appointed captain of Plymouth argyle so is he ok to be a role model?” she added.
In opposition, there’s a petition, signed by over 20,000 and counting, addressed to Oldham Athletic, which reads: “We do believe he [Ched Evans] has the right to work. We believe that it does not have to be in a role where he influences views about sexual violence, and his presence on your pitch will do this.”
It is all incredibly messy, so what’s needed are some cold, non-shrieking facts about this, to help you make your mind up and nix some of the misconceptions about the whole case.
HE’S INNOCENT! SHE WAS ASKING FOR IT!
Factually speaking, Ched Evans is not innocent, regardless of what you think. A court and jury found him guilty of raping a woman. Evans is appealing against the decision, but that doesn’t mean he’s innocent. The outcome of the appeal may be more damaging to him.
The issue of consent is a hugely emotive thing. As far as the law was concerned, the victim in this was not able to give consent. She’d had a lot to drink, which still doesn’t equate to saying ‘yes’. More to the point, the court heard about what happened, which paints a grim picture.
On 30th May 2011, Evans received a text from Clayton McDonald who said he’d “got a bird”. Now, the woman in question, according to the courts, doesn’t remember getting to the hotel. Evans is on record as saying that he got a taxi to the hotel, let himself in to watch his friend have sex with the woman and then “got involved” while his brother and another friend spied on them through a window and tried to film it on their mobiles.
The fact remains that a jury found these actions to be that of a rapist. Ched Evans remains a rapist until the law says otherwise.
HOW CAN CHED HAVE BEEN A RAPIST BUT THE OTHER GUY WASN’T? SHE MUST’VE KNOWN!
Okay, look at this as a scenario, unrelated to this case. A girl gets incredibly drunk and goes back to a hotel, willingly, with a guy, and has sex. She falls asleep and wakes up with a second person having sex with her. With regards to the second man, he did not get consent so he raped her.
In another case, a woman willingly goes back to a hotel with a man to carry on drinking, however, date-rape drugs are used and the man has sex with her, and then invites his friends to do the same. The victim will wake up with no memory of the assault, but again, it doesn’t mean that she wasn’t raped.
Of course, we’re not implying that the examples above are what happened on that night, but rape cases aren’t ever as simple as simply saying “she was asking for it.”
Clayton McDonald, the other man accused, according to a jury was deemed to have been in a situation where he was likely to think he had consent. Legally, he’s not a rapist. Legally, what happened after that with Ched Evans, makes him a convicted rapist.
HE’S PAID BACK TO SOCIETY BY SERVING HIS TIME!
Legally speaking, Ched Evans has not served his time. Evans has been released from prison under license, which means that his sentence isn’t actually finished. Only the custodial element of his punishment has been served. So if you think that Ched Evans should go back to work because ‘he’s served his time’, technically, you’re wrong.
JUST BECAUSE HE’S DONE SOMETHING WRONG, DOESN’T MEAN HE SHOULDN’T WORK AGAIN!
No-one is saying Ched Evans shouldn’t work again. However, whether he should be a footballer again is another matter. While Evans keeps a toe in the public eye, he’s an exceptional case.
If Evans doesn’t play professional football again, he can still live a relatively normal life, like anyone who has a criminal record. However, in this instance, the victim has had to move home five times under new identities because of people ‘outing’ her. For this reason alone, Evans’ continued presence in the limelight is making the victim – the person the law is protecting – suffer further.
On the employment front, shrieking “HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO WORK AGAIN!” isn’t strictly true. Convicted rapists are prevented from doing a number of jobs, such as being a doctor, a teacher or a police officer. As a footballer who is a convicted rapist, would parents be happy to see the children who are mascots on the same pitch as someone the law has decreed a rapist? Football clubs do a lot of work in the community, so would any club that pays a wage to a rapist be able to do that with a clear conscience? Would any club who has fans who have been subject to sexual assaults be able to have a player who is guilty, by law, of exactly that? It is for these reasons that Ched Evans isn’t a normal case and shouldn’t be treated as one. That said, it is a matter of opinion, rather than a matter of law.
WELL! OTHER SPORTS STARS HAVE DONE BAD THINGS! WHY SINGLE CHED EVANS OUT?
Of course, there have been other convicted criminals doing high profile jobs. However, those decisions may have been wrong, which means that the bad decision of yesterday don’t give a green light to do them now. Again, if Evans’ appeal is successful, then there’s a different conversation to be had.
EITHER WAY! I BELIEVE IN REHABILITATING CRIMINALS – DON’T YOU?
Ched Evans has consistently not shown any remorse for what has happened. There’s a website that is hounding the victim, which Evans has failed to condemn. Rehabilitation starts with the criminal realising what they’ve done and/or admitting guilt. Let us assume Ched Evans didn’t think he’d done anything wrong and then realises that, actually, he did. That’s when rehabilitation starts. You don’t just do a course and get to be a professional footballer again.
The fact is, the law found him guilty and he need to take some responsibility for what he’s done and, for some of the things his fans have done. He’s shown zero understanding of the situation and, until he does, then we can start looking at what he can do with his life next. More to the point, rehabilitation doesn’t mean that you get to carry on as normal, like you did before. Evans could be rehabilitated and never play professional football again, because rehabilitation isn’t about getting you back into your old job. Until he’s been rehabilitated, there’s a chance he could re-offend. So, until he’s learned about consent, the weight of his actions and what he’s actually been charged of by a court and a jury, only then can he start thinking about what job he’d like to do.
Saying sorry isn’t enough.
THE LAW IS AN ASS!
The jury found Ched Evans guilty of rape. That’s all we have. Whether or not you agree with the British legal system is a different debate to the one regarding Ched Evans playing professional football again. A jury heard the full details of what happened and the verdict was that Ched Evans raped a woman. If you have reached a different verdict, that is irrelevant. Many people defending him have an axe to grind, when the fact is, they inevitably wouldn’t be happy working with a convicted rapist or if a convicted rapist worked with one of their loved-ones. Concerning the latter, that is what is being debated here.
When he came to pass sentence the judge said: “…. [the complainant] was in no position to form a capacity to consent to sexual intercourse, and you [Evans], when you arrived, must have realised that.”
The court papers say: “That accurately reflected the way in which the verdict should be interpreted. No force had been used on the complainant and no injury had been caused in the course of the rape. But the long-term psychological consequences to her could not be ignored. The judge took the view that they were not lessened by the fact that she had no direct recollection of the events.”