A Sheffield United player has been suspended following remarks he made on Twitter after team mate Ched Evans was sentenced for five years for the rape of a 19-year-old woman.
Connor Brown was suspended by the club after complaints were made about tweets the 19-year-old released after Evans’ sentence.
Sheffield United said in a statement: “Sheffield United Football Club have suspended reserve-team player Connor Brown with immediate effect pending an internal investigation into comments apparently posted on his personal Twitter account. There will be no further comment from the club during the process of the investigation which it hopes to conclude swiftly.”
Brown made a series of tweets in support of his team mate, and was reported by an anti-rape charity. The tweets, which were shared with his 775 followers, were then removed from his Twitter profile.
This comes on the back of the news that the name of the 19-year-old female victim has been exposed on social networking sites. Victims of rape or any sexual abuse are granted automatic anonymity for life, and breaking this law can carry the sentence of a £5,000 fine.
Holly Dustin, director of the End Violence Against Women coalition, and Rape Crisis England and Wales, said: “It is profoundly disturbing that the victim in the Ched Evans trial has been named and abused on Twitter and other social media sites.
Dustin went on to add: “We want to see football clubs and the Football Association take a strong stance against sexism in the sport.
“We also want the Government to take concerted action to address attitudes that condone violence.”
Evans, 23, was sentenced last Friday.
Update: Police are now investigating a series of incidents that led to the young victim being identitifed on Twitter.
North Wales police have confirmed that arrests will be made concerning the incident. This news follows the identity of the victim being revealed on the social networking site, hours after the Sheffield United defender was found guilty.
The name of the young woman was then shared so widely it became a ‘trending’ topic in the UK.
Under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 anonymity is granted to all victims of rape, but this week Sky News also showed tweets from the 19-year-old woman in a report, revealing her identity.
Assistant chief constable of North Wales police, Gareth Pritchard said: “Those who commit offences in this regard will be brought before the criminal justice system. We wish to reassure victims of serious sexual offences of our continuing determination to support them.”