We have covered the case of Ched Evans, the Sheffield United player who was jailed for five years for rape in 2012 (here’s our piece on his appeal being dismissed). He will be released in October 2014.
On 13th August 2014 the BBC covered the news that there is a petition that is calling for him not to go back to his old job that has now reached 60,000 signatures.
It’s an interesting question. On the one hand, having a job is the best guarantee for a released prisoner that they don’t re-offend. Also, a conviction should not result in a ‘civil death’ and he has ‘served his time’ and therefore should not suffer further punishment.
On the other, there is the argument that his occupation falls into the category of professions where further restrictions can be placed. Not presumably on the basis that he presents a risk of harm to others, but that as a sportsman he should be a role model.
I can see both sides of the argument. On balance though (and it may be that I have too low an opinion of the role of footballers in society) I don’t see why he should be treated differently to an ‘ordinary’ person because of his celebrity status.
What do you think?