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I have a love of life. Some may call me a cynic but I'm truly an optimistic realist. I work on the philosophy “If you expect the worst but aim for the best, you'll land somewhere that's comfortable.”

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13 November 2014

Ched Evans, Rape And Society

This is my first posting in a very long time, I have been lacking in ideas L .

Of late there has been a lot of talk in the media and on social networks about a British footballer called Ched Evans. He was convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman. He was given a five year prison sentence which in England means you serve half in custody and the other half on licence. The is now great disgust that his team that he played for prior to conviction has allowed him back to train with them.

I would ask what is the problem. Yes, he committed a very serious offence, however, he has served the custodial part of his sentence and has been released. If, he poses a threat to people, why was he released? He doesn’t, that’s why. The outrage is because as a footballer he is a role model to young males who are impressionable. Him playing football for a professional team gives the message that the young males can go on to rape someone and not be punished. Last time I checked, we don’t sack players for other undesirable behaviours such as homophobia, binge drinking or speeding. Although these behaviours are not in the same league as rape, they are not socially acceptable.

What is the point of sending a person to prison if they are not afforded the same rights as everyone else on their release? I can understand removing people with sexual interest in children from positions where they may become tempted to reoffend. In this case, the football wasn’t the focus of his offence. It could be argued he only had the money to fund the alcohol and hotel room that were involved in the offence due to earning around £20,000 per week, this would be tenuous though.

Many rappers sing about drugs in a positive way; women in a misogynistic manner and violence. Rather than banning these artists altogether radio and television stations blank out the offensive words. Surely, the right thing is to ban the artists outright if their music doesn’t conform to our standards of what is appropriate for young people? They may not of committed any offenses but they are still potential role models.

Returning to Ched Evans, I believe it is a great shame that he committed rape and that he should not be allowed to brush off his own behaviour. It is however, important not to forget that he wasn’t the only person charged and taken to court for the offence. Another player was also in the dock with him. He however, was found not guilty. We are ultimately responsible for our own behaviour but what about all those other parties that could of stopped the offence from taking place? The other male could of reasonably assaulted Ched to stop him carrying out the act. So also could of anyone that noticed the group of one legless female and two males.

All my above arguments ofcourse depend on Ched Evans being a rapist, as it stands he is but it is also important to remember that he has asked his lawyers to have his case reviewed. This could result in a complete over-turn of his conviction. So until this review has taken place, why not let him play with a claus built into his contract that would allow his dismissal if his conviction is upheld? Would this not make the punishment more hard hitting for the young males that look upto him? Many people leave prison with no jobs to walk into, sex offenders find it harder to find work. So, if prison isn’t enough of a deterrent for young males considering or inadvertently raping someone – what difference will stopping a football player make to them? Misogyny is a learnt behaviour rape isn’t. Some woman hate men but they don’t rape them. Rape is something used by mostly men to dominate another for their own gratification weather that be sexual or egotistical. We’ve had the “No! Means No!” campaign but this hasn’t been a magic bullet and caused all rape to stop.

Rape is far more complicated than a young male seeing a role model doing it and thinking I’m going to do it to. So, let’s leave Ched to his review and sack him after if his conviction is upheld, if we really must.