Bestselling novelist ends sponsorship of team over signing

Jan 31, 2022, 3:49 PM | Updated: Feb 1, 2022, 5:51 am

KIRKCALDY, Scotland (AP) — A bestselling novelist has ended her sponsorship of a second-division football team in Scotland over its signing of a player who was ruled by a judge in 2017 to have raped a woman.

Crime writer Val McDermid slammed Raith Rovers’ decision to sign David Goodwillie on Monday as a “disgusting and despicable” move that “shatters any claim to be a community or family club.”

Goodwillie, a 32-year-old former Scotland international, and an ex-teammate at Dundee United, David Robertson, were ordered to pay damages of 100,000 pounds ($135,000) to a woman they raped, a judge ruled in a civil case in an Edinburgh court in 2017. No criminal charges were brought against either Goodwillie or Robertson.

Goodwillie left English team Plymouth following the ruling and has played for Clyde in Scotland’s lower two divisions since then.

McDermid, who has sold more than 17 million books, was a Raith director and her name is on the front of the team’s home shirts.

She wrote on Twitter she would be ending her lifelong support of the team.

“Goodwillie has never expressed a shred of remorse for the rape he committed,” she wrote. “His presence at Starks Park is a stain on the club.

“I’ll be tearing up my season ticket too. This is a heartbreaker for me and many other fans, I know.”

In a later post, McDermid wrote: “The thought of the rapist David Goodwillie running out on the pitch at Starks Park in a Raith Rovers shirt with my name on it makes me feel physically sick.”

She said it was “a terrible day not just for Raith Rovers but for women who support football.”

“The beautiful game just turned very ugly in Kirkcaldy,” McDermid added.

The captain of Raith’s women’s team, Tyler Rattray, announced she was quitting playing for the team after 10 years because of the signing of Goodwillie.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the responses of McDermid and Rattray as “principled — though difficult for both of them.”

“But the fact they’re in this position at all,” Sturgeon said, “reminds us that our society still has a way to go to make zero tolerance of sexual violence a reality.”

Raith is fourth in the Scottish Championship and in contention to get promoted to the Scottish Premiership.

Signing Goodwillie, Raith manager John McGlynn said, was “crucial to the club’s promotion push.”

“Every striker at the club will benefit greatly from his experience in matches and training,” McGlynn said.


More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

7 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

7 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

7 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

7 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

7 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

7 months ago

Bestselling novelist ends sponsorship of team over signing