The 25-year-old sportsman was convicted of rape in April 2012, jailed for five years and is due to rejoin society in October. According to the official supporters’ club at Sheffield, he will be greeted with the opportunity to take up his old job on release.Which the 'Guardian' should champion, right?
But a petition against his re-employment has thrown a spanner in the works, quickly going viral and gaining coverage across national media. More than 60,000 people have signed it.Well, I bet they won't be happy about that! It must be those dastardly right-wingers, eh, always finding new ways to torment poor ex-cons?
Evans isn’t merely returning to gainful employment when he waltzes back to take up his previous position at Sheffield United, he is regaining serious status.Well, he's going to be a footballer. I rather thought the progressives looked down on such rude pursuits and were scornful of those who elevated them to such 'status'?
Like the music industry, however, the football world has become a bit too big for someone to creep back in unnoticed. When Chris Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna, stickers started appearing on his albums in HMV that said, “Warning: do not buy this album. This man beats women.” The message was clear: we no longer accept blind veneration in a powerful, influential sphere of someone who has shown such blatant disregard for another person.No, I think the message is 'Some people have far too much time on their hands', actually. And I'm willing to bet sales of the items weren't affected much.
It was not a call to permanently exclude Brown from society or employment. Instead, it was recognition that if this world seamlessly assimilates perpetrators of domestic violence, then something has gone horribly wrong.But don't you believe in rehabilitation?
I believe in rehabilitation and second chances …Well, then..?
Being a footballer for Sheffield United, however talented one may be, is not a right. It is a prestigious and prominent position in a disproportionately celebrated field. Evans – a man who has never even acknowledged that he raped his victim – surely doesn’t deserve to return to this honour with minimal fuss. At the very least, an acknowledgement that violence against women means something to the world of football is desperately needed before putting him back on the pitch. Pretending that he never committed a crime just isn’t good enough.Who is pretending that?
And...if he'd been a plumber, would there have been such an outcry?