Should Oldham Athletic sign Ched Evans? - on-line petition urges no
It has been widely reported on Sunday that the League 1 Club in question is Oldham Athletic. Latics famously gave another convicted player- Lee Hughes - a route back into football after he served over three years in jail for manslaughter. Hughes went on to play for Notts County, Port Vale and Forest Green.
The 26-year-old Evans has been without a club since being released from prison in October last year. Sheffield United withdrew an offer fro him to train with them after protests from fans and sponsors.
Although it is understood talks are on-going it has been reported that Evans could train with the Lancashire club tomorrow.
The controversial striker served half of a five-year prison sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, north Wales.
Oldham denied earlier that they were considering a deal for Evans but the rumours have prompted a petition urging Latics chairman Simon Corney not to take Evans into the club.
The petition had already been signed by more than 8,000 people despite only being set up at 1pm on Sunday.
It says the petition has been set up by Jean Hatchet from London and in it she says Evans does ‘have the right to work’ but not ‘in a role where he influences views about sexual violence.’
The petition reads: “Ched Evans is a convicted rapist. He does not deserve to return to a high profile and highly visible role in football whilst he still refuses to acknowledge his guilt, apologise to his victim and attempt to make clear his views to the fans who look up to him that what he did was wrong and they should not traumatise her or other rape victims.
“Currently Oldham is said to be considering signing him. This is a damaging message about rape and sexual consent to be giving to your fans. Please think again.
“We do believe he has the right to work. We believe that it does not have to be in a role where he influences views about sexual violence, and his presence on your pitch will do this.
The issue for football though is what is Evans to do if he can't find a club. The whole point of a prison sentence is to allow people to re-join society once they have served their punishment - however distasteful that might seem.
Evans has been prevented from talking to a top Maltese club (although they later denied any approach) because his parole license prevents him leaving the country and his options if he can't find a team to take him on seem limited.