Friday, January 09, 2015

Bang on target

Ched Evans may have come out and issued an apology of sorts ("I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned") since it was written, but Marina Hyde's article about the situation is spot on in focusing on a pair of points that have been mystifyingly overlooked or at least underemphasised in all the debate.

First, the real focus should be on the appalling brief sentences convicted rapists often receive. Evans continues to maintain his innocence, but if you're found guilty of the crime then the punishment should be significantly more severe than it was in his case.

Second, it's ludicrous to expect football to take a moral lead on anything. In a piece I wrote on football and crime in January 2013, partly prompted by Evans' case, I argued that players and clubs should be mindful of their responsibilities and influence - but concluded, like Hyde, that the beautiful game is not the place to look for principles.

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