The Plastic Hippo

November 17, 2014

Blade runner

Filed under: Law,Society,Sport — theplastichippo @ 3:15 am
Tags: , , ,


Innocently confusing United with Wednesday might spoil a day out in Sheffield but confusing committing an offence and causing offence might just ruin lives. For the sake of clarity and for those unaware of football or Nick Clegg`s steel city constituency, Wednesday are known as the Owls and play in blue shirts and United are known as the Blades and play in red shirts. For the sake of further clarity, rape is a criminal offence punishable by law and wearing a shirt of questionable taste might, in certain circumstances, cause offence. It must be made clear that these two deliberate, premeditated actions are very, very different.

After successfully landing a small robot on the surface of a comet – hang on, let`s just repeat that – after successfully landing a small robot on the surface of a comet, Dr Matt Taylor decided to appear in front of the cameras to share his euphoria wearing an offensive shirt that objectifies women, denies women any opportunities in science and technology and confirmed the sexist patriarchy that considers women as unintelligent and unfit for anything other than menial chores and sexual gratification. The vitriolic criticism through social media of his rampant sexism was entirely understandable and despite his tattoos, Dr Taylor proved than he is no Bruce Willis when he sobbed like a girl during his grovelling apology the day after what some might consider to be the greatest scientific and engineering achievement that the human race has ever delivered.

Clearly this chap is over-excitable, an attention seeker and deserves everything he got because he was asking for it due to the way he was dressed and he had probably taken drink. If his life is not ruined, perhaps the European Space Agency should name the next comet chaser “Irony” and if Dr Taylor is to be rehabilitated, he should realise that in the future, other people will tell him how to dress. Having been torn to shreds for his offence, his punishment is compounded by actual misogynist cavemen crawling out of the woodwork to defend him by attacking women. The shirt, by the way, was designed and made as a gift from a friend who happens to be female.

The opprobrium and hatred directed at Dr Taylor is in marked contrast to criticism levelled at footballer and convicted rapist Ched Evans formerly of Sheffield United. Recently released from prison, Mr Evans refuses to acknowledge his guilt and displays a callous lack of understanding as to the serious nature of his crime. Asking to be allowed to get on with his life and return to his profession in order to make a living, Evans is clearly unable to grasp that the basic concept of rehabilitation is an acceptance of wrongdoing and that rape is not a matter of inadvertently causing offence. The measured response to this lack of contrition has led critics to suggest that as a sporting role model, his unquestioned return to third-tier football sends a message that it is okay to rape people and not even say sorry. By the way, Mr Evans, being incapable of rational decision making through intoxication is, by definition, not consent to sexual activity and is, in fact, rape. Is that clear?

Astonishingly, opprobrium and hatred hurled across social media was not directed at Ched Evans but was heaped upon his victim. Hang on, let`s just repeat that – opprobrium and hatred hurled across social media was not directed at Ched Evans but was heaped upon his victim. His “fans” illegally disclosed her name and social media profile and she received a barrage of insults, contempt, obloquy and threats of violence, further rape and even death. This assault began at about the time Evans was arrested in 2011 and continued through the court case and conviction and appeal and his release from prison this very month. His victim has been forced to change her identity, has left her home and may be living abroad with her mental health in tatters. Ched Evans committed the crime in May 2011 but his “fans” replay the rape day after day after day and will continue to do so.

After his release, Sheffield United announced that Ched Evans would be allowed to train with the Blades which suggested that he was about to be welcomed back into the Bramall Lane first team. It seems that the boy has done his time and paid his debt to society. He hasn`t. He has been released on license and so technically is still serving his five year sentence. Using this logic, perhaps the management at Sheffield United are considering securing the services of Stuart Hall to make stadium announcements, Max Clifford to act as press agent and Rolf Harris to entertain the children at half time. Sadly, Harold Shipman is not available to act as team doctor.

The directors at Sheffield United have now apparently stated that Evans will not be taken on and given a second chance. It seems that public opinion has been heeded by shirt sponsors who threatened to remove funding for the club and so the Blades expressed surprise at public opinion`s disquiet. It will take a craft more sophisticated than Rosetta to discover what comet the powers that be at Bramall Lane are living on. Obviously, Sheffield United must be filled with regret at some of the offence that has been cause and chastened by some of the rather unwise decisions that have been made. Cashing in on the success of Olympic gold winning Blades fan Jessica Ennis-Hill, the club named a stand in honour the world beating heptathlon champion. With quiet dignity and courage, Ms Ennis-Hill stated that she wanted her name removed from the stand if the club decided to re-employ a convicted rapist.

Guess what? No, you don`t need to guess what. Jessica was subjected to opprobrium and hatred hurled across social media. A word of advice to “fans” of Ched Evans, particularly the rich person funding the hateful Ched Evans website; Jessica Ennis-Hill can run very fast, can chuck heavy objects a long way and is very skilled at throwing spears. Don`t let the skimpy shorts, cropped top and exposed flesh fool you, she is a world champion and has achieved far more in sport than a third division future son-in-law rapist.

In a universe of infinite probability, the chances of Dr Matt Taylor scoring the winning goal in a Blades shirt at an away fixture at Walsall or Fleetwood or Crawley is a remote possibility.

It is far less likely that Ched Evans will ever land a small robot on the surface of a comet.

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