I think I am one of the more liberal people around when it comes to rehabilitation with regards people who have been convicted of crimes and subsequently ensuring that they are not punished further than directed by a judge, and I also would rather not comment on specific cases where it is obvious that I don't know the entire facts of the incident. However I am appalled that despite being placed on the sex offenders register Heart of Midlothian Football Club have seen fit to keep Craig Thomas in their squad.
As far as I am concerned, whilst you are on the register then you should not be in a position that has any ability to influence, as well as have direct and indirect contact with children. Craig may just want to play football and have no part in that side of the job - however, rightly or wrongly footballers are role models, they do have children looking up to them and they do directly influence them.
What makes this story even more worrying and strange has been the response by both the player and the club. Firstly, the player appears to accept his guilt and then go on to apologies to everyone - except the two girls (aged 12 and 14) involved. Surely these are the first people he should be apologising to - he does apologies to "all those involved in the unfortunate affair", however I don't think this is enough.
Secondly, there is this statement from the club. I for one found this rather bizarre and not at all what I would have expected as a response from a professional football club, if you read it I'm sure you'd agree.