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Labour MP Calls On Sheffield United To Reconsider Decision To Let Ched Evans Train With The Club

"I have not commented publicly on the issue until now because I was confident, on the basis of our discussions over several months, that you would make the right decision," Paul Blomfield said. Evans is a convicted rapist and was last month released from jail.

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Paul Blomfield, a loyal supporter of the club, said: "I am writing to urge you to reconsider your decision to accept Ched Evans back to train with the team."

Blomfield is understood to have been in discussions with the club in the last few months in the lead up to the release of Evans, who was convicted of rape in 2012. Evans was released from jail on 17 October, after which a national conversation was sparked about whether he should be allowed to play professional football again.

The club was reported as saying they would allow Evans to train with the club.

The MP released the open letter on his Facebook page and used the opportunity to attack Evans for "trivialising his crime".

He wrote:

"Everybody deserves a second chance, but with such serious offences this is based on offenders recognising the gravity of their crimes and seeking to make good for them. Since his release Ched Evans has not taken this first step towards rehabilitation, but has trivialised his crime by describing it as an 'act of infidelity'."

@CCriadoPerez I want to publicly issue this disclaimer: I believe that Ched Evans should be banned from playing football professionally.

John Goodger@John_GoodgerFollow

@CCriadoPerez I want to publicly issue this disclaimer: I believe that Ched Evans should be banned from playing football professionally.

12:53 PM - 12 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Ched evans like any criminal has served his time and like any criminal deserves a chance to return to society. End of story

TW@TomWheeler1Follow

Ched evans like any criminal has served his time and like any criminal deserves a chance to return to society. End of story

12:53 PM - 12 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Re Ched Evans, disappointing by Sheff Utd that in long, legalistic statement, club dismisses those who think he shouldn't play as "mob rule"

David Conn@david_connFollow

Re Ched Evans, disappointing by Sheff Utd that in long, legalistic statement, club dismisses those who think he shouldn't play as "mob rule"

8:36 AM - 12 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Blomfield said he had not previously spoken out becuse he thought the club would make the "right decision in accordance with the values of our club... Sadly it appears I was wrong."

"To take him back in these circumstances sends a disturbing message to young people and victims of sexual violence about how we view rape," he added.

Following his release, Evans published a video in which he asked for a "second opportunity" but failed to apologise.

View this video on YouTube

Via buzzfeed.com
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Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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