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Friday 9 January 2015

Ched Evans - Should Have Said That Earlier

After Oldham Athletic pondered long and hard, and then decided that they would not offer a deal to Ched Evans, who has been convicted of rape, there were accusations that threats had been made against several of those concerned. Greater Manchester Police decided to take an interest. Meanwhile, sponsors who had given notice that they would no longer work with the club stood down their opposition.
Ched Evans

Only after this did Evans make a statement through the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), in which he said more than one thing he could, and should, have said a lot earlier, especially in view of two horrendous examples of foot-in-mouth behaviour that have emerged since. The main thing about Evans’ statement was that he showed it was possible to show contrition, despite him appealing his conviction.

Here is what he said: “I do remain limited at present by what I can say due to the ongoing referral to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and whilst I continue to maintain my innocence, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned”. So it was possible for him to say sorry, and now he has done so.

That much is A Very Good Thing: if only he had said it earlier, he might now be back playing professional football. And he had this to say to some of his alleged “supporters”: “it has been claimed that those using social media in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are supporters of mine. I wish to make it clear that these people are not my supporters and I condemn their actions entirely and will continue to do so”.

Again, if only he had said it earlier, the young woman involved might not have been targeted so enthusiastically by members of the online brains trust. But that was not the end of it: PFA CEO Gordon Taylor made a most unfortunate comparison between Evans’ case and that of the victims of the Hillsborough stadium disaster. So now another statement has been posted on the PFA website.

I would like to apologise unreservedly for linking the Hillsborough case with the situation involving Ched Evans … The last thing I intended to do was to upset anybody connected to the Hillsborough tragedy, I can only apologise”. Perhaps he will be joined in due course by Hull City manager Steve Bruce, who wasn’t at Evans’ trial, but appears to know enough about the case to sound off about it. Here is what the great man said.

I might be upsetting people but there is a question of the rape and how he's been convicted by a jury … When you look at the evidence, it is there for appeal … It has divided opinion of course. When you look at the case in detail - and I don't think most people have really, because they have just seen Ched Evans as a convicted rapist - but when you look at the case and the evidence then certainly Ched has got a case”.

Evans should have spoken up earlier. If only to save Taylor and Bruce their blushes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No better on Question Time last night when Hartley Brewer said the same as Bruce. Fact is neither were in Court so they can't make any judgement on the Jury's decision.