Opinion still divided by King

22 September 2010 10:20
Give King a second chance Opinion is still divided about whether Coventry City are right to offer Marlon King a way back into football and society. Even taking a casual look at the various opinion polls asking about the signing of King, it is obvious that opinion is split  close to 50/50. Some believe King should be given a second chance, some say let him do his talking on the pitch by scoring goals. Some object to signing King on moral grounds. Others say he has had a second and third, even fourth chance, but he still re-offended. Some think his conviction for sexual assault should exclude him from working with, or in front of women and children. Almost everyone who has an opinion about King, has a different one and a different idea as what ought to be done. There is no ideal or easy answer. Taking a purely detached view, any convicted person on release from prison will want to find employment as soon as possible and quite rightly so. Just because someone has been in prison should not mean they are forever unemployable and should live on benefits and state handouts. It is right and proper a released prisoner who has served his time should find employment and that is exactly what King has done. Coventry City manager Aidy Boothroyd has said that King should answer his critics on the pitch by scoring goals, but no one is criticising King the footballer, it is King the man and his character that is being criticised, nothing King does on the field of play can eradicate his criminal and sometimes violent past. Mirror Football journalist Darren Lewis wrote in his column that he thinks Aidy Boothroyd is right in helping King back into football. He wrote, "People can bring it up, hammer him, use it as a stick to beat him with, but King has served his time and he has just as much right to earn a living as every bad boy footballer that English football is crammed to bursting with." "From Joey Barton to Jermaine Pennant, Lee Hughes to Tony Adams, football has forgiven players for crimes just as bad (and worse) as those for which King was a guest of Her Majesty. "So let's not get on our high horses on this one. Let's allow sleeping dogs to lie." It is difficult to argue with the principal of forgiveness. King has served his time in prison for the offences he committed and so he should be allowed to resume his life and career, but for some it hard to accept that a violent criminal ought to be allowed to play for "their" team. There are some Coventry City fans who have publicly stated they will boycott the club until King no longer plays for them, while others have said they are morally against King joining, but they will still support the club they have followed all of their lives. It is an awkward conundrum to resolve, but as much as it pains me to admit it, now that King is a Coventry City player,  apart from withdrawing our support, there is very little that can be done, other than, as Darren Lewis suggests and that is "to  let sleeping dogs lie."