Ronnie Moore of Hartlepool FC compares rape to a mistake
Ronnie Moore, the new manager of Hartlepool Football Club, has spoken publicly about his desire to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans. Our organisation does not support the signing of Evans to any football club. Footballers are privileged members of our society who have a duty as role models to young men and women. Ched Evans made a choice to rape a young woman. He has consistently denied responsibility and he has refused to publicly condemn his supporters in their continuing harassment and abuse of the victim. These are not the actions of a man who has been rehabilitated back into society.
We are extremely concerned by the public statements by Ronnie Mooore, which seek to minimise both the crime of rape and Evan's culpability:
He is a proven scorer - he’s served his time and the boy wants to play football.
If there is a chance he might come here, I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t.
He has made a mistake and maybe he hasn’t apologised in the right way - and I know he has an appeal case pending - but if he gets on the park, he would go a long way to getting us out of trouble.
1. Whether or not Evans is a "proven scorer" is irrelevant to his status as a convicted rapist.
2. Evans has not "served his time". He served only 2 1/2 years of a 5 year sentence and remains on license. He can be recalled to prison at any time to serve the remainder of the sentence.
3. Evans is not a "boy". He is an adult who made a choice to rape a young woman. Using the term 'boy' erases Evan's responsibility for the consequences of a crime he chose to commit.
4. Again, whether or not Evans 'wants' to play football is irrelevant. A responsible employer would not hire a convicted rapist when the job description includes being a role model.
5. Evans did not make a 'mistake'. He made a choice to commit rape. Mistakes are accidents; rape is not an accident. Using the term accident is a clear attempt to minimise the crime of rape.
6. Evans has not apologised for committing rape. Instead, he has denied his responsibility and allowed his family to continue to harass his victim online - particularly in the Free Ched Evans website.
7.Hartlepool's standing in the football league has no bearing whatsoever on the hiring of a convicted rapist.
It is clear that Moore prioritises football over the life of a victim of rape with this statement: "he would go a long way to getting us out of trouble". This is what rape culture looks like: the complete erasure of a victim so that a football team can win a game.
We have signed the petition demanding Hartlepool refuse to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans. We will continue to campaign for football, at all levels, take violence against women and girls seriously. They can start by refusing to hire convicted rapists.