Today, convicted rapist, Ched Evans issued an apology for the effects of ‘that night in Rhyl’; the night he raped a nineteen year old woman as his cousin and friends filmed the event. Today, The Guardian reported
Ched Evans, the former Sheffield United striker convicted of raping a 19-year-old, has for the first time apologised for the “effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned”.
Two and a half months after release, two and a half years after conviction, Evans finally apologises. For this to come on the day that Oldham have backed out of signing Evans makes the message behind this clear. Evans has noted the criticism surrounding him and his attempts to return to professional football. He feels a half-hearted, carefully rehearsed apology will lead to the campaigners getting off his back. The campaigners whom Sheffield United referred to as a mob.
There are apologies forced, and there are genuine apologies. Evans is clearly the former, a desperate attempt to alleviate the pressure. It comes conveniently timed, carefully written, and absolving himself of any responsibility for raping the woman in question, a woman who has since had to relocate five times to escape those who have taken to hounding her in Evans’ name.
“Upon legal advice, I was told not to discuss the events in question. This silence has been misinterpreted as arrogance and I would like to state that this could not be further from the truth,” he said.
Evans misunderstands; he thinks that his silence is the cause of our objection. It remains that the cause of our objection is that he raped a woman and fails to admit that what he did was rape. Evans applied for leave to appeal several times throughout his sentence, each time receiving the same response. But the fact he continued to apply for leave to appeal, and has since applied for his case to be referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission tells us that Evans still refuses to accept responsibility for his actions.
“It has been claimed that those using social media in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are supporters of mine. I wish to make it clear that these people are not my supporters and I condemn their actions entirely and will continue to do so,” said Evans.
A campaign funded by the father of Evans’s girlfriend, who has stood by him through the case, includes a website dedicated to proving his innocence and undermining the victim’s version of events.
While there is a relief in seeing the people who have hounded the woman whom Evans raped discredited by Evans’ own words, one can’t help but wonder if this was a stock condemnation, upon which he was advised on. His condemnation comes two and a half years too late; two and a half years after the woman’s name was first leaked, and two and a half months after his his relief.
Time highlights Evans’ lack of remorse and shows us that this apology from Evans is nothing more than PR, and an attempt to recreate himself as a tragic victim of a miscarriage of justice. Until Evans takes down his own website, which has had a huge detriment on the abolition of rape myths, and until he accepts guilt for his actions, Evans’ apology is as meaningless as it comes.