Not for the first time, football is facing issues which occur way beyond the pitch. The latest incident seems to be one of the most delicate in recent memory.
Should Sheffield United, an honest hard working Yorkshire football club, bring back a man who has been convicted of rape?
Is everyone entitled to rebuild their life?
In the civilised society that we live in, the chance for somebody who has done wrong and been punished to be given the opportunity to restore their life, and therefore career, is arguably fundamental.
As reported in The Telegraph, Evans should also be given this opportunity. Perhaps the issue here lies with the nature of professional sport. If this man had any other occupation in life, or at least one that doesn’t catapult him into the public eye the way football does, would he be given another chance?
Not the first time
Even though the circumstances differed, the football world has been known to give people second chances. Lee Hughes and Graham Rix are perhaps the most high profile examples.
Both of these men had, without doubt, committed serious offences yet were both able to continue a career in football once they had served their sentences. Is Evans allowed the same treatment? Sheffield United will hold the final say.
Prior to his conviction, Evans was a role model. It doesn’t matter whether he wished for this or not. In the modern game all players must accept this. Equally, anything he did would reflect on Sheffield United. Nothing has changed since his offence and this is why the Blades must think carefully.
Re-signing Evans would be giving out the message that anybody who commits a crime of such gravity can easily resume a high profile and, let’s face it, privileged way of life. United must also take into account the effect Evans’ return would have on everybody associated with the club.
Letting people down
The actions of Ched Evans on the night of his offence had heart-breaking effects on the lives of so many people. He let down everybody who put him where he was. In this context alone, having been given such an opportunity and throwing it away in such circumstances makes it impossible for him to return.
It should be stated that there are no winners in this case regardless of its outcome. Yet, it will take a lot of time and many more arguments to determine how this can be resolved.