Niall Mason will not be joining Dundee after the Dens Park club ended his trial period.
The former Doncaster and Peterborough full-back had joined the Dark Blues for training this week.
However, there will not be a contract for him at Dens Park for the season ahead.
The 24-year-old’s trial brought widespread condemnation from the Dundee support due to Mason’s conviction for sexual assault.
Sexual assault in nightclub
In January 2019, while playing for Doncaster Rovers, the player was convicted of sexual assault on a woman in a South Yorkshire nightspot.
A court heard he grabbed her hair and pulled her towards him before putting his hand up her jumper and groping her breast in February 2018.
Mason initially denied the assault before later pleading guilty.
Mason in action for Peterborough.He was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.
In March 2019, Mason was sacked from Doncaster Rovers as a result of his conviction, and went on to sign for Peterborough in June that year.
He was released by the Cambridgeshire club at the end of last season and is now a free agent.
‘Insult to fans’
More than 250 people signed an open letter penned by Glasgow-based journalist and Dundee fan Niall Christie.
Part of the letter read: “This player should be let go immediately and under no circumstances be allowed to represent our club.
“We believe he does not represent the welcoming, community values that Dundee Football Club and its fans have at their heart, and would be a black mark against both the club and the success of the current team.
“Bringing a player with this background into the club would simply be an insult to fans – particularly those among the support who themselves are survivors of sexual abuse.
“Further to this, the signing of a player with a history of sexual assault – and who remains on the sex offenders register – could be seen as an endorsement of this behaviour, as well as influencing fans – particularly younger supporters.
“We wholeheartedly hope that you will take the above on board and ensure that a player with this past is not allowed to continue at Dens.”
Sexual assault victims have concerns
Speaking to DCT Media, Mr Christie said: “I’ve had two separate survivors of sexual assault contact me on Twitter and Facebook today regarding their own concerns about going to Dens if the club sign Niall Mason.
I firmly believe that allowing a player with this past to sign for our club would be wholly unacceptable.
I have written an open letter to the club and manager expressing my feelings on this below and would invite any other fans of Dundee or Scottish football to do the same. https://t.co/BOshNyq79I
— Niall Christie (@NiallChristie1) August 18, 2021
“I was appalled when I saw that he was on trial and I really think there is a safeguarding issue for the club and fans which has not been considered.
“Dens should be a family-friendly space and that history of sexual assault would not be tolerated in the stands or in opposition colours, so neither should it be accepted by a player wearing a Dundee shirt.
“I think the strength of feeling which has gathered in one afternoon shows that.”
Dundee FC declined to comment on the matter.