Why is wrestling thought of as any less of a sport than the others? I've heard this so many times from sports fans. "Wrestling? That's not a real sport". I'm confused. It's not a real sport? But... But matches are rigged, players are paid way too much for what they do and they are adored by fans for doing something that is of no consequence whatsoever. Like football. Hmmm... Except wrestling doesn't seem to have quite as many high-profile rapists. Is that what makes it less worthy?
Clearly, I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm not in any way a sport fan and I will never, ever understand sport fans. I'm sure there are all sorts of rapists and murderers in the world of wrestling and I apologise to any fans if I insinuated there wasn't. There just doesn't seem to be as many as in the beautiful game of football. Those are the ones I hear about most anyway. To be honest, if it wasn't for violence against women, I wouldn't have a clue about sport. And I think that's what I can't quite get my head around. Tickets to watch other men play a game you're not allowed to join in with costs a lot of money. I just looked on a random footsie club website, Oldham Athletic FC, and saw they charge £42 to sit at the front row and watch them play their game thing with Doncaster Rovers. Surely no one on Earth can be possibly interested in seeing that? 42 quid! AND you have to do your own singing? No thank you very much, please. But footsie fans all over the country will pay that and more to support... What? I mean, it's not their local team, is it? It's just the name of their town with one or two players from the area among the other 15 or so (I really don't know how footsie teams work). You pay £42 to watch very wealthy men enjoy their hobby. You support these wealthy men, both financially and for their own morale, whether they score some goals or not. Or even if they're a rapist.
Of course, thankfully, plenty of footsie fans refuse to support highly paid sports rapists, and good for them, but nowhere near all do. Not even all teams or players refuse to support them. The manager of Oldham Athletic has said that his club are facing a "very difficult decision" as to whether or not they should sign sports rapist Ched Evans to their troupe. That is a heavy decision to make. If only there was a way to make this tricky situation better. If only, say, the club owner or the team coach or, I dunno, one of the other players could take the manager to one side and whisper in his ear "DON'T SIGN THE FUCKING RAPIST" then maybe his burden would be eased? But, like I say, I know nothing about sport.
Thousands have signed a petition asking Oldham not to sign Ched but still (at the time of writing) the club haven't made a decision. Maybe they'll change their mind now that Verlin Rainwater Solutions has withdrawn their sponsorship of their main stand. Who knows? Maybe when it comes to rape, it's Verlin Rainwater Solutions that finally make people see sense. But go on Twitter and the support for Ched is clearly there. People happy to have their community represented by a rapist. The fact that Oldham didn't just immediately say no is also depressing. And sports journalism, something I know a lot about (I don't know anything about it), seems keen to back their sports rapist hero. I say sports journalism, The Daily Mail's Martin Samuel wrote "If we believe in redemption, Ched Evans MUST be allowed to play football again". No. We don't have to redeem him, he has to redeem himself. Martin has clearly got redemption and being-rewarded-for-raping-someone very mixed up. But I wonder if that's where my problem with all sport lies? It's the competition. Winning is everything. So if he wins, he's redeemed. If Ched Evans, the convicted rapist, joins Oldham Athletic and then uses his phenomenal skill to somehow get them through to the Embassy Snooker World Championships, is that all the redemption sport needs?
I'm safer out of it, with my Doctor Who DVDs and my comics. Sport isn't for me. And if there was something good in sport then surely these people would stand up and say no to Ched Evans's return? Men... Sportsmen... Standing up, speaking out and making a united front against violence towards women. If there has been sportsmen speaking out then I deeply apologise. I can't find a record of any. Well done to Jessica Ennis and sports presenters Charlie Webster and Gary Lineker but it would have been better if some actual current sportsMEN spoke out. He had sex with a woman too drunk to know where she was after being texted "I've got a bird" by his friend, his brother watched through a window and tried filming it on his phone and after being convicted he didn't even do his time and yet still no footballers speak out? Why do you like football again? It's an unfunny old game. And poor Oldham Athletic still stuck with that difficult decision. Bloody typical! Don't you know the offside rule? YOU. DON'T. RAPE.