Jessica Ennis-Hill takes firm stance on Sheffield United's re-signing of Ched Evans

by hellomagazine.com

Jessica Ennis-Hill has taken steps to sever ties with football club Sheffield United, following the re-signing of convicted footballer Ched Evans.

The Olympic gold-medalist said in a statement: "I believe being a role model to young people is a huge honour, and those in positions of influence in communities should respect the role they play in young people's lives and set a good example."

She continued: "If Evans was to be re-signed by the club it would completely contradict these beliefs."

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Sheffield United renamed one of its stands at Bramall Lane after the sportswoman won her gold medal victory at the London 2012 Games. Should a new contract be secured for Ched, however, the heptathlon champion wishes for her name to be removed from the stand.

Jessica is the latest high-profile figure to express their concerns over the re-signing of the 25-year-old footballer, who was released from prison last month after serving half of a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman.

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Three patrons of the club – TV presenter Charlie Webster, businesswoman Lindsay Graham and former pop star Dave Berry – have now resigned, while one of United's sponsors has said it will end its association with the club if they go ahead with the contract.

Two shirt sponsors have also threatened to pull out of deals with the club.

More than 160,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to take the striker back, and Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister and MP for Sheffield Hallam, has also warned of potential ramifications.