Ched Evans and his bad PR

19 May


Will whoever is advising Ched Evans, the professional footballer, jailed and then released from prison after being found guilty of raping a drunken 19-year-old girl, please stand up and explain what you hope to gain from using an interview with The Times to offer advice to girls on how to not get raped?

ched evans

If someone is not guiding this man's PR then they should because he has just unilaterally reopened the massive and divisive argument about his actions and dragged his new and former employer, Sheffield United Football Club back into the full glare of a very negative public debate. The footballer was convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman back in 2011 and jailed for five years; last year he was cleared of the crime after a retrial.

The case split the nation and even more so, Sheffield United fans with sponsors departing the club and a massive petition being signed by thousands begging the club to no longer have anything to do with him. The club, at the time of his release, decided against signing him and he went on to play for Chesterfield FC. With the relegation of Chesterfield to the lowest division of the English Football League tat the end of this season, Evans sought a new club and has resigned for Sheffield United.

Why has he taken this opportunity to open old wounds that he and SUFC must know will only cause a negative and divisive response? Why has SUFC not stipulated to him that he must not talk about the case let alone put himself up as some sort of authority on how girls and women should act if they do not want to be raped?

If Ched Evans really believes that, as he told The Times, "a lot of work needs to be done in relation to consent because I definitely think that the police have an agenda to find ways to charge people and the easiest one is the drunk one,” then maybe he should spend his time talking to men about not getting drunk and being incapable of telling whether or not a girl is giving consent to having sex. If he wants to be seen as someone who wants to take repairable steps, accept his own responsibility for the damage he has done to that young girl, a girl who has had to change her identity five times and is currently raising funds to emigrate due to being vilely hounded by supporters of Ched Evans, then  maybe he should be having conversations with them, telling them that their actions are unacceptable, that his case and their actions have prevented and will prevent more victims of what he sickly refers to as "real rapists" coming forward - and maybe he should have a conversation with himself about not trying to be his own victim.

Ched Evans is in no position to lecture girls and women on how to not get raped. He is, however, in a very good position to be able to tell the fathers, brother, sons, uncles and close male friends, those men most likely to rape a girl they know, that if you get drunk and  cannot tell whether or not a girl is too drunk to give her consent to have sex, then it's best that you leave her alone - otherwise you may end up in court and spending more than two years in prison for a crime that no one will let you forget - especially if you keep talking about it in the press.





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