Ched Evans, a Welsh football (soccer) player, was convicted of rape almost two years ago. In reality, it appears to have been drunken consensual sex, but he was convicted and served his time anyway. He has recently been let out of prison on probation and is seeking to play football again. Liberals are protesting hard about it, much as they did with Michael Vick in America. Evans has a detailed website devoted to explaining his innocence.
Interestingly, it is illegal in the United Kingdom to even name the plaintiff in a rape case in the media, although the defendant is fair game to slander. The notion of being too drunk to consent is also apparently a valid claim in the UK, as that actually was the claim the prosecution was making in the original case, although other cases have set precedent that drunken consent is valid consent.
It appears that British courts are in flux over this issue. Evans maintains his innocence. Oddly, there was a second football player there with Evans and the girl, but he was acquitted.
Protesting On The Internet
Today Evans is seeking admission into a new football club. Rumors circulate that he is being signed to Oldham Athletic or is training with Sheffield United. Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) have taken to the internet in storm to write articles, tweet in bad grammar, and type their names into petitions to make sure Evans is no longer able to earn an honest living.
Evans has complete legal right to play again, and the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association has maintained this, even though the PFA’ s rules forbid Evans from being the director of a football club.
Leftists have left no stone unturned in the public lynching. The Guardian complained that the footballers referred to the girl as a “bird,” as though that’s degrading towards women. “Perhaps Evans is a misogynist who sexually objectifies women,” thinks the casual reader. As always, the primary point of rhetoric of the leftist is “Think of how the women and minorities feel!”
Rapid Fire Round: ROK Debates The Mainstream Media
Obviously I’m of the opinion that 1) Evans made a poor decision, but it wasn’t a rape, and 2) If someone serves their time, then they should be allowed to resume their place in society (with some exceptions, obviously, but that’s beyond the scope of this article).
The Independent has done us the favor of making a handy rebuttal guide for leftist usage, since many think he should be allowed to play. I accept their challenge and will counter each of their points. Game on.
Ched has served his time – Well actually, he hasn’t. Evans has been released under licence, but his sentence isn’t finished yet, it’s only the custodial aspect that is over. He could return to prison at any time if he breaches his probation conditions. He’s not allowed to go abroad, for example. He is far from being a ‘free man’.
Right, but those probation terms say nothing about playing football. The emphatic phrase there is “if he breaches his probation conditions.” The notion of probation is that one is allowed to return to society. It’s a compromise solution between prison and regular life.
Furthermore, if he isn’t allowed to play football, then what job should he be allowed to hold? Is ditch-digger kosher but investment banker forbidden? And if I discover that I don’t like the person digging ditches for the city, is it acceptable to start a petition demanding that a better breed of person dig our ditches? Should we put an income limit on felons?
He didn’t even do it! – A jury disagreed. The facts remain that on 30 May 2011, Evans got a text from his friend, Clayton McDonald, to say that he had “got a bird”, neglecting to mention he had “got” her at 3am in the queue for pizza when she was so drunk that she fell over and twisted her ankle. In fact, she had drunk so much that she doesn’t remember how she got to the hotel room where she eventually woke up, her clothes scattered around the floor. But this isn’t about her actions: it’s about Evans. And he does remember. He remembers – and freely admits – that he got a taxi to the Premier Inn where McDonald had taken the 19 year-old, let himself into the room and watched his friend have sex with her. He then “got involved”, while his brother and another friend watched through a window and tried to film it on their phones. Evans left later that morning via a fire escape.
Evans doesn’t think this sequence of events makes him a rapist. But unfortunately for him the jury did, and it is from that foundation that all our conversations about Evans and his professional career should start. The Football Association are not able to overturn or ignore the decisions of our legal system. Should the decision be overturned in court, then it’s a discussion that can be reopened.
The whole crux of this is that the jury was wrong, so she is making a couple fallacies in assuming that a jury cannot err. We’ve already seen that similar cases were decided differently, and in the present case, the other player was acquitted for doing the same thing as Evans. More than anything, this controversy is about the validity of such convictions. So it’s totally relevant to ask whether or not the jury was correct.
But what is irrelevant is whether or not the Football Association is able to ignore court convictions, because the court conviction had nothing to do with the Football Association.
He has been punished, so now he should be rehabilitated – We need to be very clear what we mean by rehabilitation. Because rehabilitation does not mean a return to ordinary life, as if nothing has happened. Rehabilitation for Evans is not analogous with playing professional football. He could be rehabilitated without ever touching a ball again.
Rehabilitation is about reintegration into society, with the fundamental basis of this a reasonable understanding that the individual will not reoffend. And this is where we run into some problems, because Evans does not accept that he did anything wrong. In fact, he has repeatedly refused to accept even a modicum of guilt for anything other than cheating on his girlfriend. If he does not understand that what he did was rape, can we be sure he will not reoffend? He has shown no grasp of the issues surrounding consent, so can we really say he is rehabilitated?
I kind of answered this one above. At any rate, I would imagine that’s he’s learned pretty well to be careful of banging groupies in the dead of the night. And even if he hasn’t learned anything, it doesn’t change the fact that he may have done nothing wrong.
The girl made several poor decisions, starting with drinking far too much alcohol. She chose to drink, and she chose to go to the hotel room with a football player. Did she think they were going to play Scrabble?
But saying sorry isn’t part of his punishment – No, but acceptance and a willingness to change is part of rehabilitation, which is surely the issue at question here.
If he apologizes, then he admits that the conviction is valid. He will give credence to his enemies’ laughable claims. Apologizing would certainly make it more likely that he wouldn’t ever play football again. And it’s not like these public apologies ever appease the mob. Every time a celebrity says something that isn’t politically correct, they apologize profusely with tears, but it is to no avail.
Most importantly, if Evans were to apologize, it would set precedent that such actions are terrible crimes and should be punished to the fullest extent imaginable. So I think it is laudable of him to stand his ground. Ched Evans may not be the hero we deserve, but he is certainly the hero we need. For that he should be inducted into The Hall of Kings.
So are we saying that his life is ruined because of one mistake? – Are we really suggesting that simply not being able to play professional football will destroy his life? The woman he attacked has just had to move and change her identity for the fifth time, after his supporters tracked her down and abused her. They even have a website vilifying her. Evans has yet to condemn their actions. Perhaps when talking about lives that have been ruined, we should first talk about his victim, and learn from his response to her ruined life.
Not being able to play football is not the only consequence of this. He will likely never be able to get a job anywhere. Imagine if you knew that the person selling you a tv in Wal-Mart is a rapist. Would you buy a tv there? Maybe, maybe not. Now imagine if every customer knew the salesman is a rapist. Would Wal-Mart be likely to hire them?
And of course the writer transitions into how persecuted the alleged victim is, which is off-topic. However, I’m glad the girl is terrified. Good. This whole scandal sends a message to other girls who consider lying about rape. Women should be really damn sure it’s the truth before they come forward with a rape accusation.
Is he never allowed to work again? – Of course he is! But a rape conviction automatically excludes you from a vast number of professions. A convicted rapist couldn’t be a teacher, doctor or police officer, for example. In fact, there can be few companies that would allow you to walk straight back into your job after leaving jail. Should football be so different?
He may be legally and morally allowed to work, but will any individual put him to work?
But a footballer isn’t in charge of children or vulnerable people, he is not a threat. Why shouldn’t he be allowed to play? – Not a threat directly, no, but footballers are idolised, and – rightly or wrongly – presented as role models. Regardless of how he has acted since his release, allowing him to walk back on to a pitch to cheers makes a mockery of what he has done. Do we really want his face decorating the bedroom walls of young fans?
I could agree with this if it was clear that he had actually committed a rape. However, given the lack of clarity on the facts and the treatment of similar cases, we must acknowledge a large chance that no crime was committed and the jury simply got it wrong.
Other sports stars have committed crimes in the past and been allowed to return. Why not Evans? – A wrong decision in the past shouldn’t stop the right thing being done now. This case should be judged on its own merits. And it is clear that public opinion now is overwhelmingly against Evans being allowed to return to professional football, with a petition to Oldham Athletic against the signing gaining 24,000 signatures so far, making it one of the fastest growing ever.
Perhaps it’s because he has shown no remorse, or because he has taken no responsibility for the despicable actions of his fans, or maybe it’s because he is so unwilling to learn from what he has done. But it could also be that public opinion is finally starting to recognise rape as the most appalling of crimes which deserves to be met with nothing but disgust and contempt for the rapist, rather than a new contract and football shirt.
I’ll agree with her first two sentences if taken as an abstract principle and not contextual. However, she commits another fallacy (we’re up to at least five here, if I’m being generous). Truth and justice are principles in and of themselves that are irrelevant to whether people agree with them. After all, the whole concept of liberalism is that justice is often denied by the masses.
What we have here appears to be another act of discrimination of an undeserving man. The SJWs are unwilling to forgive him regardless of the merit of the accusations against him. Of course, if a woman or a minority chooses to do something, it must be overlooked or forgiven. But if a man—especially a white man—is accused of making a poor decision, we must assume the worst. This is the new Jim Crow law.
The common people of the United Kingdom seem all kinds of screwed up, but at least here in America, the tide may slowly be turning against leftism and political correctness. Hopefully it will spread to the rest of the western world.
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