Ched Evans, the professional footballer and convicted rapist, should be allowed to “reintegrate into society”, the former head of the footballers’ union said on Sunday.
The 25-year-old former Sheffield United striker was released from prison on Friday after serving half of a five-year term for raping a woman in 2011. His former club denied newspaper reports that he has been offered a new two-year contract, saying that they are still considering whether to take him back. A petition urging the club not to re-employ him has attracted 150,000 signatures.
The former footballer Clarke Carlisle, a former chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), said that the PFA was giving Evans guidance on how to rebuild “a semblance of a career”.
He told Sky News: “The laws of the land and the legislation state that he has paid his dues to Her Majesty and [that] he should be given the opportunity to reintegrate himself into society. But that comes with several provisos, I would imagine – one that he does show a large element of contrition.”
Interviewed in the Sunday Mirror, Evans expressed remorse over having “cheated” on his girlfriend, but denied rape. He claims that the woman consented to sex. The Criminal Cases Review Commission has agreed to fast-track an inquiry into his conviction.