Thousands urge Sheffield United to reject rapist striker Ched Evans

Posted Friday, August 15, 2014 by

NEARLY 60,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to let convicted rapist Ched Evans return to the club.

Thousands urge Sheffield United to reject rapist striker Ched Evans
CAGED: Ched Evans is set to be released after serving time for rape and could rejoin Sheffield United

Striker Evans is set to be released from prison in the autumn after serving half of his five-year sentence.

Campaigners argue his return to the Blades would send out a dangerous message about sexual violence.

Many who signed the petition expressed their anger at Evans' rejoining the club.

"Stop rewarding rapists whilst victims have their lives ruined," wrote Natalie Vincent.

Ed Drain wrote: "He ruined someone else's life, why should he get to go back to his?"

Michael Wall wrote: "Rapists have no place in sport.

"Sport is about fair play, not violence."

But Evans' girlfriend Natasha Massey told Sky News he SHOULD be allowed to return to work.

Thousands urge Sheffield United to reject rapist striker Ched Evans"If Ched wasn't a professional footballer we wouldn't be having this conversation, because that was his job before he went to prison," she said.

"That's part of the whole rehabilitation process when you leave the prison and you go back to work.

"All Ched wants to do is go back to work, do the job that he loves, play football, score goals and then just come home and have a family life."

Evans, formerly of Manchester City, was found guilty following a two week trial in 2012.

Thousands urge Sheffield United to reject rapist striker Ched Evans
GAFFER: Nigel Clough has reportedly visited Evans in prison

The Prosecution said Evans had sex with his victim in a hotel room while she was too drunk to consent.

His friend and fellow pro Clayton MacDonald was cleared of the same charge.

A member of the Sheffield United Supporters Club has said fans will welcome back Evans when he is released.

"He has served his time, he has served his sentence and we would have him back," Alan Smith said.

Thousands urge Sheffield United to reject rapist striker Ched Evans
RAPE: Evans was convicted of raping a woman in 2012

"Good players like that have got to carry on playing and if not for Sheffield United it would be for someone else, and we would regret that."

But Rape Crisis England and Wales have revealed they are concerned over the striker's return to the game.

Director of communications Katie Russell said: "We would urge Sheffield United to think very carefully about the message that they send when they immediately re-employ someone who's been convicted of such a very serious crime."

Evans was named in the League One PFA Team of the Year in 2012 after ending the season with 35 goals in all competitions.

Some argued he should have been removed from the team following his rape conviction.

Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.