This may be foolish…

… but here goes.

After a quick Twitter mention of this tweet (http://twitter.com/SkyNewsBreak/status/532960564340064256) by a friend of mine I drafted this.

I’m a little conflicted by all the Ched Evans stuff.

In no way do I support him, or what he did.

But he’s done his time according to the legal system and in theory should be allowed to work again. I’m not sure if a lot of this is down to the fact that his work is getting incredibly well paid for kicking a pig skin around – if he worked in a shop or a factory would we care as much?

That’s not to say that the legal system might not need changing and that his sentence may well not have been long enough. Nor is to say that, from what I’ve read, he’s not a nice person and I wouldn’t want to work next to him (nor have him represent the team I support). But if we stopped all the ‘not nice’ people playing football we’d only have enough professional players left to fill one team.
Btw – I’m very open to discussing this further and modifying my opinion…
*Dons tin hat and prepares for the brickbats*
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9 Comments

Filed under Thoughts

9 responses to “This may be foolish…

  1. bmpryer@gmail.com

    I take your point here Patrick, and I do agree (to a certain extent) that he has done time so he should be allowed to return to gainful employment, BUT. He is a Professional Footballer (emphasis on the Professional), in the same way that I am a professional. If I had done, what he has been found guilty of (perish the thought), then there is no way that I would be allowed to be registered to work in my profession again. EVER. To me this is what being a professional is all about that you do your job with integrity and you do not bring profession and your co-professionals into disrepute.

    So in summary, yes of course he should work again – but not as a professional footballer, he has shown he does not have the professionalism to do it.

    • Barry, I get that completely. He should be allowed to work, but equally people should be allowed to choose not to employ him. So his profession can ban him from representing them, his team and the team’s supporters the same.

  2. The way I see it there are a few things to consider on this subject:

    1) Professionalism
    As Barry points out – Ched is supposedly a professional and anyone in a professional capacity in another industry would be struck off after conviction and completing their sentence. Can you imagine the outcry if for instance a blue chip company took on a director/board member who’d been convicted of any crime? So, why is a football club any different?

    2) Public Figure
    My major concern is that he’s in the public eye and so should set a good example. Are we telling younger generations that this behaviour is acceptable and that once you’ve done your time all is forgotten? We’re not talking about a case of fraud but a physical attack on another human being.

    3) Code of Conduct
    I get the impression that in the world of football anything goes when it comes to behaviour. Before typing my reply I did a quick search to check whether there’s an FA Code of Conduct – I found this page http://nav.thefa.com/sitecore/content/TheFA/Home/Leagues/Respect/CodesofConduct
    Sadly, when you click on any of the links to see the detailed code it simply takes you to a “Page not found” – says it all really!!

    The last thing I’d like to say, is that I admire you for bringing this topic to your blog. I don’t think it’s foolish – intelligent discussion and arguments are good for all.

  3. John

    Pedantic point, he hasn’t done his time, he has served only about half, he is now out on license under various conditions. [As an aside, wonder if he will be allowed to play with that monitor on his ankle?]

    I started out thinking that people who serve their sentences should be allowed, even encouraged, to return to society. We used to be, if not proud, at least supportive of rehabilitation. There are football players who have killed, manslaughter, via drunk driving/cars, who completed sentence, expressed serious contrition etc, and have returned to playing. I think that is right.

    But some crimes are different, and rape, is rather different. And in this case not only has he not expressed contrition nor remorse, he is actively claiming to be innocent, victim of misjudgement, and is benefitting from an apparently weathly father of his girl friend who has paid for various things including the attempt to get the conviction set aside as a “mis-carriage of justice”. I think there is no point in second guessing the jury, who heard the evidence of this rather unpleasant event and found him guilty. Because of the way he is currently behaving, I think it wrong for him to return to professional football.

    As an aside, I think Sheffield United’s current approach, to let him train, seems to be to be saying they want to find out how good he is before deciding. Completely wrong.

  4. There are two issues for me that arise out of this:

    Firstly, like it or not footballers are role models. The foul abuse of anyone on social media that opposes the view he should play is an indicator that role modelling isn’t working so well. With privilege comes responsibility. He has blown the opportunity to be privileged.

    The second is about “doing his time”. He shows no contrition. The behaviour of him and his family towards the victim has been despicable. The first step to redemption is contrition.

    He has a long way to go.

  5. One of the reasons for posting this is to try and understand what has caused all the outrage. If it was a different crime and a different job he did there wouldn’t be this level of outrage.

    So, is it the crime, or is it the fact that it’s football?

    If it’s the crime, then as a society we should insist on longer sentences. If it’s football, then as a profession it clearly needs a better code of conduct (and not a 404 page as Lucy pointed out).

    As with most things, the answer is probably somewhere between the two, or in this case a little bit of both.

  6. Mo

    It’s a bit of both, plus one – 1) He served what, half of his sentence? Not enough. 2) He is a professional. The FA code of conduct for adults, at http://bit.ly/1170Srk is clear on the behavior expected of him. He should be penalised appropriately. The code could certainly be better phrased to ensure that is obvious. 3) He’s a role model. Letting him get away with a paltry sentence and then putting him back into the public eye where he will receive praise sends a very clear – and wrong – message.
    To be honest though, our whole justice system needs an overhaul. Prison sentences are handed out to pot smokers who buy for them and their mates, but drivers whose bad driving kill cyclists walk away free. Just wrong.

    • Thanks for the comment Mo.
      As for the justice system I think this is a different conversation, but I do agree that it needs an overhaul. We don’t seem to know whether we want to use the system to punish or rehabilitate, and it seems to me that if does neither.

  7. Sid

    I don’t know the full facts of his case but a court found him guilty, his victim will suffer for life, he shows no remorse and therefore is not rehabilitated. Based on that, footballer or not any prospective employer needs to consider who they employ. Sheffield Utd have clearly had an eye on re employing him from day one. They should have terminated his contract as soon as he was found guilty for bringing the club into disrepute. Instead they allowed his contract to run down. Visited him in prison and will clearly resign him unless public opinion becomes too much. On that basis sheff utd are a disgrace. The supporters who have abused jess Ennis and apparently the victim and her family are the lowest form of filth scum on a par with Ched Evans himself. His public statement was a managed PR exercise. If he was innocent and appealing a simple silence and withdraw from the limelight pending the decision would be the least he should do. This blog ( I don’t know the author ) puts it well and perhaps highlights how a decent wrongly convicted or a rehabilitated remorseful individual should act. http://incarnationalrelational.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/an-open-letter-to-ched-evans-about-your-supporters/
    I wouldn’t want to employ, work with, support a non remorseful rapist that’s if i could accept a remorseful one!? A question I hope to never have to answer.

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