Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | 1,015 day ago

Ched Evans Redefines ‘Apology’ With His Latest Statement

The Debrief: And we answer all the questions you've got about the fact the convicted rapist is set on returning to football...

Ched Evans has released a statement apologising for ‘the effects’ of the night in Rhyl that have led to him not being able to return to his highly-applauded, highly-paid job and a raped woman being forced into hiding. Here, we answer all your questions about the statement:

1. Hasn’t he said something like this before?

Yep, in October last year, the 26-year-old released a (now hidden) video where he apologised for ‘cheating’ on his girlfriend – the ever-loyal now-fiancé Natasha Massey – but made no mention of the 19-year-old woman he was convicted of raping.

2. So what’s changed?

Evans is speaking after both Sheffield United (his old club) and League One team Oldham Athletic both halted their bids to sign him.

3. OK, what does the statement say? Does he really apologise?

The statement reads: ‘Whilst I continue to maintain my innocence, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned.’ Which is a lot like saying, ‘I’m sorry that you’re offended by this.’ There is still no remorse for his actions, which were, to remind you, to rape a woman who was so drunk she could barely stand.

4. Why isn’t he apologising properly?

Evans is now waiting for the results of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to come through before he says more: ‘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.’

5. Hold up, what’s the CCRC?

That’s the place you take your case after your criminal appeal has failed.

6. Why did Evans’ criminal appeal fail?

One of his grounds for appeal was that because his friend was acquitted for raping the woman, he should be, too! Another went along the lines of ‘the complainant liked to get drunk so she’s an unreliable witness’. The Court of Appeals refused to let these grounds count.

7. Did Evans say anything else today?

He used his ‘apology’ to point out that he does not condone those who have been bullying the raped woman online. ‘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,’ it reads.

8. Can we believe him?

It’s difficult to. Evans’ future father-in-law, Karl Massey, who is somehow still sticking by Evans even though, at best, he cheated on his daughter, was willing to fund the footballer’s return to the beautiful game by giving £2 million to Oldham Athletic. This is the same father-in-law-to-be who runs the website.

9. Yeah, what about the website?

The site, in a bid to help overturn Evans’ conviction, calls for people to present ‘fresh evidence’ that could be used against the victim in further legal action – in other words, callouts to discredit her. Plus? CCTV which could be used to identify her. Plus, the website does not feature today’s apology.

10. Oh

Yep, and it gets grimmer. The only reason Oldham Athletic pulled out after saying the signing was ‘80% likely’? Some of their staff received rape threats.

12. When is this going to be all over?

No idea, but as easy as it is to tire of this case, one that’s been going on for so long and involves so much antagonism, the crux of it isthis – should people really be applauding a man and offering to paying him a ridiculous amount, when he continues to lack remorse for a rape the justice system says he committed?

TLDR: If Ched Evans thinks his statement is an apology, the sort of apology which could show enough remorse to ready him for rehabilitation, then we’re all footballers.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Picture: Rex

Tags: Rape