Apart from the kerfuffle it caused in Brisbane last week, the nation may have missed a rugby league scandal that makes Cronulla’s woes look as shocking as a Phil Spector wig.

In fact it was less a rugby league scandal and more the culmination of years of a war on the interaction of the sexes in the workplace.

Joel Clinton: Fined 50 grand for hanging out with a chick

Poor Joel Clinton, the Broncos frontrower, was fined $50,000 for inviting a friend to his room the night before the match against the Tigers recently. That friend happened to be a woman.

And? And nothing That’s it, that’s all he did.

There was no sex, either involving him alone or Sharks style with a pack of his teammates queueing up in the hotel corridors.

``I invited a young lady, who I’d been communicating with for a month or so beforehand, to my room at our team hotel and we spent some time together alone. This was a meeting we’d arranged earlier in the week and (we) were both keen to meet face-to-face for the first time,’’ Clinton said when this heinous crime became public knowledge.

So gun-shy are rugby league players now of being seen in the company of women that he felt compelled to end his statement with this:

``I would like to let people know that this situation is not the subject of a police investigation.’‘

Thank heavens for that, or who knows what fate would have befallen Mr Clinton.

Fifty-freakin-thousand bucks of his hard-earned down the drain because Joel Clinton broke team rules that state you can’t have a woman on the same floor, let alone your room, on match eve.

What madness is it that adults can be treated this way?

This is the way Australia has been shaping its workplaces since the mid-90s.

Watch what happens if a bloke says something even vaguely personal to a female in an office environment these days.

``Gee, you look great Agnes. Have you been hitting the gym?’’

A red light will start flashing, a siren will sound, and stormtroopers from Human Resources will march into the room and drag the admirer away in chains to give him a stern talking to and a permanent dent in his career.

Asking someone out is almost a sackable offence. To do so requires bravery of the highest order because if the subject of the request takes offence you can go from being mildly infatuated to pariah in the time it takes to scream ``pervert!’‘.

In the relentless campaign to eradicate boorish behaviour like office harassment and football gang bangs we have neutered much of what makes the world go round _ a healthy regard for and frequent mingling with the opposite sex.

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    • Ford says:

      06:27pm | 16/06/09

      It might be a stupid rule, but when he signed his contract, he agreed to abide by club rules.  And such is the consequence of breaking the rules. 

      There’s plenty of BS laws around the world, and people are always happy to jump up and down when some bogan breaks the law and say “you need to respect the law even if you disagree with it”.  I really don’t see the difference here.

    • tom says:

      06:38pm | 16/06/09

      couldn’t agree more.

    • ab says:

      09:40pm | 16/06/09

      Connecting Joel Clinton to workplace harassment laws!?
      What are you on about? 

      I do feel sorry for Joel.  But Joel got fined because of a stupid rule made by his employers, who put the stupid rule in place to stop the other stupid league players getting themselves in so much trouble and losing sponsors. 

      Stupid rules are needed for stupid people, but there’s always going to be some innocent person (like Joel and his cyberbuddy) who will get caught out.

    • Bill Jones says:

      02:44am | 17/06/09

      I guess it pays to be gay in the NRL.

    • Steve says:

      04:14am | 17/06/09

      Well of course he deserved a fine.  A woman goes with you to your motel room and you do nothing other than talk ? An outrage.
      This behaviour has to be stopped . Everybody knows motels are for nooky and transgressors deserve sanctions of some kind…a fine being one possibility .


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