Was Judy Finnigan Right To Support Ched Evans?

I tend to avoid the programme Loose Women because it gives me 'the rage' for various reasons. However, Judy Finnigan made her debut panel appearance today and has definitely made an impression with the Great British Public, and not necessarily a positive one. 

The lunchtime discussion turned to the subject of whether convicted rapist, Ched Evans (found guilty and sentenced to five years in jail in 2012), should return to Sheffield United and his job as a football player when he is released from prison next week.

Judy Finnigan attempted to suggest that Evans had served his time (less than half of the given jail term) and that the rape was not violent and [..] the victim had had far too much to drink... 


It's obviously not just me who disagrees with the wording of her support for Evans as there seems to have been a social media storm based around her thoughts. As was mentioned by Tanya on Twitter, I wonder if Judy Finnigan's viewpoint would have been different if it was her own daughter that had been violated?

Any rapist has attempted to hold a position of power, using sex as their weapon. Evans already held a position of power because of his role in British football; one where I feel that the players in the upper-league teams are over-paid for their involvement and they use their prominence to enhance their personal lives. 

This really and truly isn't about whether someone should go back to work after going to jail. No! This is about presenting a 25-year old man with another opportunity to become a role model to so many young people when he shows no remorse for his actions. His own website houses a front page statement that maintains his innocence. Why should he return to a high-profile, privileged job where he would be celebrated on a weekly basis?

Watch the whole programme here - the article in question is at the 14 minute mark (although it's a right kerfuffle because you have to register with ITV Player, then confirm your postcode and turn AdBlock off). Much of the discussion has been transcripted on Buzzfeed too.

I'd be interested in your thoughts too.  Let me know in the comments.