Last year, soccer player Tesfaye Bramble
was gaoled for rape; yesterday it was the turn of Ched Evans
People who know about the misnamed beautiful game will know the name Stanley Matthews. He died in 2000 aged 85, and is the only player to have been knighted while still playing. According to that font of all knowledge Wikipedia
, when he moved from Blackpool back to Stoke City in 1961, he was given a two year contract at £50 per week. Even allowing for inflation, that is chickenfeed compared with the money paid leading soccer players today. He must be turning in his grave at the thought of players being paid obscenely high wages while behaving even more obscenely. Ever heard of roasting? This involves two or more men having sex with a young woman, often two at a time. The term appears to be derived from the act looking like a spit roast, but let's not go there.
All good and fine if all parties are consenting, and if the participants, especially the woman, can look themselves in the mirror the following morning. If the woman does not consent, there is a different name for this obscene practice. This appears to have been what happened the night Welsh international striker Ched Evans and Port Vale defender Clayton Macdonald picked up a drunk teenager at a Denbighshire hotel in May last year.
Okay, a young woman who has a lot to drink then goes for a ride with two strangers is asking for trouble; she may even end up being murdered. But what about the other side of the coin? Rape is a voluntary act for one party. Or maybe for two parties in this case, because although Evans was convicted, his co-defendant was acquitted
, in spite of admitting having sex with the victim.
With an arrogance that can only have alienated the jury, Evans claimed that as a footballer, and a good looking one at that, he could have his pick of women.
What is every bit as disgusting as the behaviour of these two men - even accepting Macdonald's acquittal - is the fact that his club, Sheffield United, did not suspend Evans the minute he was charged. This should have been automatic, and would have in any other sport, certainly snooker
. If his club didn't suspend him, why didn't the professional body, the Football Association, step in? An ordinary working man would probably not even have been granted bail, but ordinary blokes don't commit crimes of this nature. Although only the two men had sex with the girl, others were apparently attempting to film them from outside. What does that say about the so-called beautiful game?
Evans is now starting a five year sentence, which is probably about what a man of his age could expect for a first offence, though in this case one has to ask if it is not unduly lenient.