It’s not news that certain segments of the world’s population are wholly misguided regarding the concept of female consent.
In the past few weeks weeks the BBC documentary on the tragic Delhi gang rape case, India’s Daughter, has seen such an angry backlash from certain men in the country, that is was banned from being transmitted there by the Indian government. Meanwhile, the damaging and sexist attitudes of US frat house culture and certain colleges’ inadequate responses to rape claims are being examined in the documentary The Hunting Ground.
However, one of the most upsetting public rape cases in recent memory has to be that of Ched Evans. The former Sheffield United player was convicted after a trial found him guilty of raping a woman in 2011. He served half his sentence and maintains his innocence. He has never once apologized to the young woman whose life he ruined. His fans have hounded her. She couldn’t spend last Christmas with her family.
While Evans has not played football professionally since his release last year, clubs have courted him in a bid to get him back in the game. Certain people in the industry argue that he deserves to be able to return to his career. His critics point to his behavior towards his victim as a justified means for the wave of protest that accompanies any move he makes in the direction of playing again. So many young men look up to footballers as role models. Allowing an unapologetic rapist to have such potential influence is a bad thing. In other industries a crime of such magnitude would end a career, why not in football?
Today Stylist reports that Brighton and Hove Albion football club will be offering ‘legal training about rape and sexual offences’ to its young male and female players. The club will be the first in the English Championship to do so. The training will consist of training and counselling sessions from a former policeman and a psychotherapist respectively, and is to be called Protect, Inform and Prevent. Players will be educated on consent and asked about their past sexual experiences. As Stylist points out, two years ago the club was involved in a sexual assault case. The players involved were acquitted of the charge, but the press must have been a massive wake-up call to management.
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun