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Football Sexism

Football has been linked to homophobia, racism, domestic violence and corruption. Today I want to focus on its part in sexism. Ched Evans had his guilty verdict overturned on Friday. This was after his friends were found to have made the alleged victim's name and address public, which potentially made her the target of arguably just as much abuse as Evans - given the lack of millionaires support. The court heard from two independent witnesses who saw the state of the victim due to alcohol consumption. She was described as glassy eyed and unaware. The law states consent must be free from coercion including financial, psychological, substance misuse or fear. We have heard how after the incident Evans 'snuck' out of the fire escape instead of leaving through the hotel. However after the reward for information of 50 thousand pounds offered by Evans, concerning an incident only three people were involved in, two men came forward.... These men were 'well known in the football circle' including by Evans himself, and described sexual encounters with the alleged victim using the same words as Evans himself. This led the jury to believe that the teenager reacted the same in multiple sexual encounters. She did not fit the ideal victim profile. They therefore discounted the independent witness statements and the lawful definition of consent. The guilty verdict overturned, many football fans have taken to social media on a campaign of hate towards women. Claiming women all lie about rape and we're all slags. The facts are that in the UK only 3% of reported rapes result in a conviction - and less than half of those get a custodial sentence. False allegations are lower in rape than in any other crime. And yet this small number is the one that's brought up the most, we must ask ourselves why that is. We must ask ourselves - while convictions for rape go up, presidential candidates claim sexual assault is part of being a man and CSE is on the rise, what messages are we sending to our children about healthy relationships with themselves and others, about safety, about justice and about consent.

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