HERE we go again, that perennial question.

Should a sports star convicted of a grievous offence still work in his preferred field? Well, when it's a football field - come on in.

This time it's the turn of convicted paedophile Adam Johnson. Last week a newspaper did the rounds of Football League clubs in the area of his home in the North East asking them if they would sign Johnson on his release from prison.

Refreshingly, they all said no. It was a ray of light, a sign that times might be changing and that sportsmen - regardless of their talent or popularity - might have to accept the long term consequences of their actions.

But... they all said no until it came to our own Gordon Strachan, who said he would sign the ex-Sunderland and Manchester City winger because "everyone deserves a second chance and he's done his bit."

Not only does Mr Strachan harbour charitable feelings of redemption towards the 31-year-old paedophile, he also frets for Johnson's dependants.

"What if we don't allow him back in the game and his family are affected? His kids? We've got to think about that." Yes, won't someone think of the children?

Maybe Johnson should have thought of his partner and young child when he was grooming and meeting with a 15-year-old girl.

Last week sports writers were analysing Adam Johnson's career options. What of his victim's options?

That 15-year-old girl's identity has, once again, been revealed online and she's currently being subjected to abuse and harassment, fearing that internet ire will spill over into a real life attack.

Mr Strachan, former Celtic and Scotland boss, says, "He's done his three years" and that we must forgive Johnson if he's "shown remorse."

Johnson was pictured at the weekend strolling through the park in a pair of Fresh Ego Kid tracksuit bottoms so, while we can make no comment as to his level of remorse, his level of tact is plainly wanting.

We've seen the same scenario and moral dilemma play out time and time again - from the big names, such as Tiger Woods and Mike Tyson - to our own homegrown talent, David Goodwillie.

Goodwillie and his colleague David Robertson were found guilty of rape in a civil action and forced to pay £100,000 compensation to their victim.

He was released by Plymouth Argyle at the time of the case but later signed to Clyde, a controversial move the club has been repeatedly forced to defend.

Last year the club's chairman Norrie Innes defended the move once again and said Goodwillie "does not regard himself as a rapist." Well, there's a problem. A court has found that he is.

Would Mr Strachan sign Goodwillie, knowing that without accepting guilt, one can't show remorse?

I wonder if Johnson's victim had been five, rather than 15, would the footballing world be so ready to forgive? I wonder if, had Goodwillie dragged his victim off the street and down a dark alleyway, would Clyde be so happy to have him?

Part of the problem is this perception that lads will be lads and that, when it comes to violence against women and girls, there are degrees of violence. During previous rape trials for well kent footballers we've heard how teammates came to film through the windows. Lads' bad behaviour isn't condemned, it's commended, especially when that lad's good on his feet, fast with his fists or handy with a golf club.

People operate on a principal of selective morality when it comes to sports stars because they feel such a strong emotional connection to their team. They're willing to overlook the worst behaviour if its for the collective good of having winning talent on their side.

Management feel a strong connection to their players because that's where the money is. Let's face it. there's no great public passion to rehabilitate paedophiles - unless they can bring in the cash.

All this does is minimise women's trauma and prioritise men's feelings - and how many times will we have to have this conversation before that changes?