Should Ched Evans have been given a job at Oldham Athletic Football Club? No, of course not!
Should he have the chance to rehabilitate, be employed, live his life? Yes.
But rehabilitation for a convicted rapist should not mean walking into a £2,500 a week job where he is, because in the public eye, a role model for boys and young men.
If this crime can be so easily forgotten about then it also sends a message that rape is a trivial matter.
Ched Evans claims he is innocent. On TV, Gordon Taylor, the head of the Professional Footballers’ Association, claimed that sometimes people who seem to be guilty turn out to be innocent, and compared Evans to the Liverpool fans at the Hillsborough disaster who were slandered by the Sun newspaper. How crass can you be?!
In fact Evans has been though all the usual legal processes to reverse the decision made by the jury. And juries are generally very cautious about finding people guilty in rape cases.
Evans says he has been the victim of mob rule. The people who signed the petitions to stop him getting jobs at Sheffield and Oldham were football fans. That’s why they signed! They think rapists and domestic violence perpetrators are giving football a bad name.
The only mob rule that has taken place in this case has been against Evans’s victim, who has been so systematically persecuted by Evans supporters she has had to change her identity five times.
Many people would have a different attitude to Evans if he showed some honesty about his crime. But his recent attempt at an apology was not just dishonest, it was deluded. Clearly he believes, and unfortunately many others do too, that because his victim was drunk she was “asking for it.”
As lawyer Julian Norman said on the F-word blog, consent is very simple. It “is a meaningful yes, not an inability to refuse”.