Were Sheffield United right to cut ties with Ched Evans?

We wanted to find out how our panel felt about Sheffield United’s decision to cut ties with footballer and convicted rapist Ched Evans. After a very public uproar the football club decided to retract their statement that allowed Evans to train at the club.

This decision however caused a mixed response, some felt that Evans had served his time for the crime he committed and therefore should now be allowed to resume normal life. Therefore they felt that Sheffield United’s decision was unfair whereas others felt that a convicted criminal should not be allowed to be in the public spotlight.

The panel found this question to be a difficult one to answer and we saw quite a mixed response. However a larger proportion of the panel felt that Sheffield United had made the right decision when it came to cutting ties with Ched Evans.

Some panel members felt that letting Ched Evans train again would send a negative message about the seriousness of the crime he committed.

“I think that Sheffield United were perfectly right to cut ties with Ched Evans. He comes with far too much baggage and his reputation will only damage the good reputation of Sheffield United.” (John, 69, Dumfries)

“If they took him back they would be promoting a bad image and bad values.” (Apple, 20, Aylesbury)

“I know that he has done his time but the fact that he showed no remorse for it, it just doesn’t send the right messages.” (Daisy, 27, London)

“I think that they are absolutely right to cut ties with him. I think it’s disgusting what he did. I think it’s great that people like Jessica Ennis have gone away from it because why would they support somebody who has raped someone.” (Alice, 27, Hove)

Other members of the panel found it harder to decide if Sheffield United had been right or wrong in their decision.

“I do feel sorry for the man…his life is really ruined now. The uproar left Sheffield United no option. So sadly perhaps the right decision.” (Sam, 63, Port Glasgow)

Others felt strongly that Sheffield United were wrong to dismiss Evans after he had served his time.

“That’s the whole point of serving your time, you come out and start your life again and you try and make something of yourself, he’s trying to be reformed.” (Sam, 19, Chester)

“As far as our justice system goes he has served his time so it does seem a little bit unfair that he is unable to return to his job.” (Elizabeth, 32, Sherborne)

“I actually think they were wrong to cut ties with him, yes this man was a convicted rapist but he has served his time for the crime.” (Erica, 47, Hornchurch)

One of the panel members made the comparison between Ched Evans and Lee Hughes. Hughes was convicted of murder by drink driving but was allowed to return to football after only serving half of his sentence. Perhaps it seems unfair that Evans is not allowed to do the same.