Looks ridiculous on paper right? But somehow saying it out loud appears to mitigate that. Oddly, in the wake of 'the 'Ched Evans rehab vs remorse debate', the age-old argument of 'footballers being role models' returned. But if the saga was evidence of anything it was exactly why the R word should be nowhere near football.
Ched Evans has failed yet again to gain a contract at one of England's Football League clubs. Oldham Athletic's board today backed out of negotiations, presumably due to pressure from sponsors and fans - it seems clear to me that this is the right decision for football but what is not clear is why there is so much support for Ched Evans to return to the 'beautiful game'.
It is appropriate for celebrities, and especially female celebrities to open up discussions about the treatment that they face at the hands of the paparazzi and the media in general, but it is not appropriate to compare it to the very specific act of physical and psychological violence that rape is. Certainly not whilst victim-blaming is so prevalent, and whilst it is so hard to get a conviction.
This case is not just about criminal rehabilitation, it's about role models and about behaviour that role models encourage. This is a moment when the Football Association should step up and take greater responsibility for the case, rather than the unedifying spectacle of dragging the argument out from club to club - and failing on both rehabilitation and role models in the process.