Sunderland AFC need to cut ties with winger Adam Johnson in wake of his guilty pleas.
There are times when a football club can stand by their player, even if the cause is misguided or poorly carried out. Liverpool standing by Luis Suarez after he made racial comments was a disaster and the club was left red in the face wearing their silly t-shirts after he was found guilty of the charge.
Another case that comes to mind is Ched Evans, the former Sheffield United star and convicted rapist who served two years for his crime. His old club brought him in for training and discussed the possibility of bringing him back but public backlash was so severe that fans threatened to boycott the club and sponsors threatened to pull out of their contracts.
It was an untenable situation for the club and they made the right decision to not sign him to a contract. Evans may have earned the right to reintegrate himself in to society but not as a professional footballer getting cheered on by thousands of fans.
The case of Adam Johnson is every bit as appalling as Evans’s case. He may not have raped a woman outright, but he plead guilty to one charge of sexual activity with a minor and one of grooming. There are two other charges he has denied and a trial to determine his guilt or innocence on the other charges will begin this week.
More from Playing for 90
- Alexia Putellas reaches 400 games with Barcelona
- Everything you need to know ahead of the 250th ‘Super Clásico’
- Barcelona put five past Real Betis
- Manchester City suffer but come away with win over West Ham
- Baffling Liga MX ruling strips Puebla of a hard-earned victory
Perhaps if he maintained his innocence on all of the charges then the Sunderland could justify keeping him on board. Every person being charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty and just because he is charged does not mean he is guilty.
However, because he plead guilty to two very serious charges the club simply has no choice but to cut him loose. He is a predator that preyed on a young girl and should be behind bars, much less playing professional football and making millions of pounds.
The club has not released a statement on the new developments in the case but we should expect them to come out soon and announce that the club has terminated Adam Johnson’s contract. Along with that should be a stern condemnation of his action and some sort of pledge to donate to a cause that supports abused children.
Sunderland has done nothing wrong in the wake of the charges as they had the right to stand by their player, but now is the time to act. By pleading guilty, Adam Johnson has proven that he is not worthy of representing the Black Cats and not worthy of being a professional footballer anymore.