Monday, 23 April 2012

Ched Evans: Drawing the line.

It's safe to say that the past six months have been a series of major highs and manic lows for Chedwyn Michael Evans, a Welsh footballer playing for Sheffield United FC. Unable to make a start for the Blades for the first 9 games of the 2011/2012 season due to injury, he came into the squad in mid to late September. Controversial new manager Danny Wilson has been a breath of fresh air for Sheffield United Football Club, and proved his peers very much wrong sometime ago. One of the players that Danny has had a significant impact upon is Ched Evans. As a young player, Ched always seemed to struggle to show his potential under the likes of Blackwell, Adams, and even the late Gary Speed, who went on to be Ched's manager for the Welsh National Team, up until his unbelievably early, shocking death. This proved to not only be difficult for Ched Evans to come to terms with, but every single person who has any footballing connection across the UK and the rest of the world. Ched has scored 35 goals for Sheffield United this season. He has been an utter pleasure to watch, and I can honestly say I have never enjoyed watching a Sheffield United footballer so much in my 10 or so years watching the Blades.

The thing is, this is my opinion of Ched as a footballer, not a person. I've never met Ched Evans. All I know about him is that he's from Rhyl in North Wales, he's absolutely excellent at scoring goals, and that on the 20th April 2012 he was convicted of raping a nineteen-year-old woman. A large majority of people know pretty much those same three facts, yet are completely convinced that he is either innocent or guilty. Until his trial, he should have been treated as innocent until proven guilty. Now that he has been proven guilty, I firmly believe that this is the way in which he should be treated until (well, if) he proves his innocence. So, pre trial: innocent until proven guilty. Post trial: guilty until proven innocent. Rape is one of the most disgusting, unforgivable offences that any person could ever commit. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has seen the way in which rape can completely destroy a person's life. 

I understand why people are questioning the verdict, as I also did. All the evidence shown in the court was also shown in the media, and there didn't really seem to be that much of it. However, I'm not a judge, barrister, solicitor or member of the jury that came to this conclusion. And they obviously came to this decision for a reason. Just because he is an utterly wonderful football player, and in the words of colleagues and friends 'a great guy', it just does not mean he is innocent. 

I'll miss watching Ched play football, but for now, until this entire case and possible appeal is over, he is where he deserves to be. The way in which Danny Wilson and other backroom staff at Sheffield United have handled the entirety of this case is something which they should be incredibly proud of as both people and professionals. The last thing I'll say on this matter is that me and Chris (@chris_webster) reckon if we all chip in a few hundred quid each, we could get Messi on loan for about 7.5 seconds... anyone else in?

1 comment:

  1. Very well put, I applaud you for the clear and concise way you have thought about it and conveyed how you feel in words. Unfortunately I disagree with the outcome of the trial for one reason...if Macdonald was found not guilty and Ched guilty of sex with her without consent surely a lot of time must have elapsed to make the distinction, from what was reported that gap never occured. That should be the matter the legal team persue.