The former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans was sentenced to 5 years in prison in April 2012 and has just been released after serving half of his sentence for rape.
Reportedly almost 150,000 people have signed an online petition urging Sheffield United not to re-sign him, but Blades boss Nigel Clough revealed that he had already held talks with club officials over the possible return for Evans (via BBC).
He has always maintained his innocence, and public figures have come out saying he should not get a second chance in football, and are generally outraged.
The terms “role model” have been banded around, as well as “sending the wrong message”. The problem is, people seem to forget that football is on a completely different planet when it comes to decency and morals.
Ched Evans, providing he can prove his fitness, will be playing football again, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
I don’t profess to be any kind of law expert and have no idea whether he was guilty of those charges or whether in his words, it was a “complete miscarriage of justice”. But he’ll be back playing again before you know it.
Football is a sport that does what it wants. If Sheffield United don’t sign him, another club will. Look at players like Joey Barton for instance. If he wasn’t a professional footballer then he’d be in jail for a long time for the things he’s done.
And it’s not just violent attacks. Look at John Terry’s antics, and how about Wayne Rooney. Role models? You have to be joking. They are players who could literally do anything and they would still have thousands of fans supporting them and screaming their names on a Saturday afternoon.
Football is an extremely fickle game with absolutely no morals. The only thing that matters in football is money. And if Ched Evans can help a team win games and help them earn more money then he’ll end up with a club.
Look at Joey Barton, Lee Bowyer, Jonathan Woodgate, Eric Cantona, Tony Adams, George Best, Lee Hughes, Marlon King, Jan Molby and Jermaine Pennant. All of those have been in prison for various offences but I bet you couldn’t even name what half of them did to deserve a prison sentence. That’s because in football, we easily forgive.