On Ched Evans, rehabilitation and my total lack of pity

Content warning: this post discusses rape

Ched Evans has finally been dropped from training with Sheffield United, about a month too late. Current scientific instruments cannot measure my pity for him, but it is estimated that I do not give a single solitary femtofuck about his career prospects.

Defenders of the rapist found themselves turning into bleeding-heart liberals, suddenly caring about the rehabilitation of Ched Evans, a strange sight from some of the most deeply conservative shitbags I have ever had the misfortune of seeing. However, it is obvious that these statements were made in bad faith: all these squawking rape-fans want is for Evans to slip back into his high-profile career unscathed. Rehabilitation–actual rehabilitation–does not even feature on their agendas.

What does rehabilitation look like, then? First things first, let us note that our justice system is not exactly set up for a justice surrounding rehabilitation, it operates at mostly a retributive level. We brand prisons as a place for rehabilitation, but that is merely PR, and any rehabilitation that happens within their walls is purely an accident. Rehabilitation itself begins with something very important: the acceptance that you did something wrong.

The rapist Ched Evans has not done this. He continues to insist that he has done nothing wrong. He continues to throw money at futile appeals while his lawyers laugh all the way to the bank. He leads an army of rape apologist trolls, and remains tight-lipped in challenging them on their harassment of women, and the rape threats they make. Ched Evans hasn’t changed a bit. He’d probably do it again if he had the chance. He has learned precisely nothing.

Because of this, he simply cannot be held up as a role model. Sheffield United made the right decision in dropping him (eventually). I do not pity this rapist for losing a prestigious job; it’s what’s best for the community at large. It shows that unrepentant rapists are unacceptable. We’d probably be having a radically different conversation had Evans just owned what he did, speak out about how disgusting raping women who are too drunk to consent is, apologised and showed some change. Evidence of rehabilitation might, perhaps, mean it could be appropriate for him to continue in a high-profile career.

I don’t pity Ched Evans at all for losing this opportunity. His downfall was entirely of his own making. He chose to shut down and tell a generation of young men that he doesn’t think raping a woman who is too drunk to consent is really rape. He chose to protest his innocence when he is patently guilty as sin. And, most importantly, he made a choice to rape. 

So I wish Ched Evans a lifetime of mediocrity, a footnote whose name is inherently associated with being a rapist. I wish him nothing, humdrum tedium as the world forgets him. I wish him luck at kickabouts in the park with middle-aged dads. I wish him a dull but regular job. I wish him complete unremarkability, with no influence on anyone.

Ched Evans deserves no pity. He was never hard-done-by: if anything, he had it all too easy.

4 thoughts on “On Ched Evans, rehabilitation and my total lack of pity”

  1. One thing that particularly frustrates me about society in general, and I guess in this case Sheffield United in particular, is that rehabilitation isn’t even sought after.

    In general, a person in his position will tend to find that things work out better for them if they maintain their innocence than if they admit their wrongdoing and attempt to apologise and undergo rehabilitation. From a PR perspective, his career prospects are probably better as “dubiously convicted Ched Evans” (which would be the spin he would doubtless put on it) than as “apologetic and rehabilitated former rapist Ched Evans”.. The club was okay with him training because he claimed he was innocent – if he admitted to it and attempted to reform, would they have accepted him back at all?

    It puts me in mind of when footballers cheat to win games (World Cup handballs, for example), in which even though everyone knows they did it, somehow lying and pleading innocence serves them better than just owning up to stuff and dealing with the consequences.

    Of course, I see no evidence that Ched Evans would behave any differently if that setup was reversed, I’m not claiming that he would admit it if only society treated reformed criminals better. Just in general, it’s a shame that that’s how things end up – that society’s lack of belief in rehabilitation makes it easier to pretend you never did it than to admit it and say that you’re sorry..

    Which I guess brings me back to your original point – perhaps if rehabilitation were actually an objective of our justice system, the public in general would have more faith that it was possible, and it would no longer be advantageous to play the victim of a miscarriage of justice..

  2. Bang on. Rehabilitation will always be impossible when an offender continues to deny their guilt after being convicted. This is especially so in sex offence cases, since the question between guilt and innocence is, as seen here, down to one person’s perverse and criminally abhorrent set of values.

    There’s one part of this post that’s unclear:

    “He continues to throw money at futile appeals while his lawyers laugh all the way to the bank”

    It seems like you might be suggesting that his lawyers were complicit (or worse) in perpetuating this appalling farce for financial gain. Lawyers have an unfair reputation for bringing hopeless and damaging cases for money. Whilst that’s true of some, it certainly is not for the majority. I dont know anything about his lawyers, but it seems more likely than not that they told him his case was a load of bollocks and not to pursue it and he chose to pursue it anyway. They cannot be blamed for taking his money if that’s the case. Was wondering if you could clarify, as this sort of comment has far reaching implications for an increasingly and unfairly under fire legal profession.

  3. Don’t forget that not only is Ched Evans not remorseful, repentant, or accepting that what he did was rape, but his family (who have harrassed and hounded his victim, including publicly releasing her name on two separate occasions) have actually been pressuring Rape Crisis to *change the definition* of consent to mean that what he did was not rape. It takes a special fucking level of misogynistic values to not only not accept that having sex with someone too drunk to consent constitutes rape but to actually try and get the law/definition of consent changed to reflect your abhorrent values.

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