Let me start this blog out by saying, I hate racism. It’s the most ignorant, stupid creations that mankind has ever devised. It’s up there with nuclear bombs. Both are powerfully destructive, and detrimental to the progression of humanity.Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I could write a dissertation on the subject. Throughout my life I have witnessed this ugly trait of human nature, and I have been subjected to racism since I was born. With decades of first-hand experience, it’s safe to say I know a lot about this subject.So, where are we going with this latest racism row? Recently it has been reported that fans in at a cricket match booed Moeen Ali because of his religion. I wasn’t there, but is the hostility of the crowd down to racism? Wasim Khan, the Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation Charity and the first British-born Muslim to play professional cricket in England, believes it’s not. He stated that the booing was due to the complex nature of the relationship between India and Pakistan, rather than any anti-Islamic sentiment. He goes on to state that Mohammed Shami plays for India and he is a Muslim and other Muslims have played for them too. He suspects that the hostility of the crowd was likely about national heritage rather than religion. I don’t excuse the behaviour regardless of the motive, but my question is – is it ever OK to boo or express hostile feelings at a professional match?Let’s delve into the madness. What is racist? It’s a complex and multi-faceted issue that the sporting industry still needs to confront on many levels. The Boards, Leagues, Associations and Faculties are all theoretically opposed to racism. But if you actually look at these organisations – the people in power, the people who make the decisions – it tells another story.You only have to look at the Premier League. With so many Black players in the leagues, it is astounding that there is only one Black manager in the top four leagues. These organisations are not fairly representing the masses of our population. And this lack of equality perpetuates old-fashioned attitudes about race. If we don’t see any faces of minorities in power, coaching, managing, at the press conferences, then there will never be any respect. This is what you call ‘Institutional Racism’ and this is where the real problem lies.But back to the issue of booing (when to boo, who to boo, and by the way… can I boo?) Booing is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to racism within sport. Hostility towards players is merely a response to the institutional racism that is so ingrained into a lot of sporting culture. The issue that needs to be tackled is the diversification of the bodies at the top.But until that happens, tackling booing is a good place to start. So this weekend, instead of booing I will be cheering at everything and let’s see if I am accused of something. Maybe I will be accused of being happy, and, as one of my Professors once told me, ‘don’t  ±%§+ with happy.’  ‘A Change is Gonna Come’I got so caught up in the World Cup, especially the beating that Germany put on Brazil (I am still in shock), that I completely forgot that one of the most significant laws in the United States was passed 50 years ago this month. Well, to be honest, while talking (yet again) about the World Cup over dinner, it was one of my British friends who reminded me of the law. The law I am talking about is the Civil Rights Act, signed by then-President, Lyndon B Johnson, on 2 July 1964. Without this law we never would have seen Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan… the list could go on. And, of course, we would not have seen the first Black President, Barack Obama.I am surprised that there hasn’t been a bigger celebration of this landmark legislation. I think many of us today take this law for granted and forget the suffering, unlawful killings, beatings and incarceration, that our parents and grandparents endured in order for this law to be enacted. This legislation outlaws discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the work place and by facilities that served the general public – It was truly monumental. But despite this huge step forward, minorities are still facing an uphill struggle. There are still many places in United States (for example country clubs) where Black people are not welcome. And it’s a much wider problem than just the USA.  Although this piece is about US law, it’s clear that this is a global issue. If you look at many of our institutions in Britain (even the faculties of various academic groups) you wouldn’t even think that there is a Black population here as there is so little representation.Just to give you a further history, this law was called for by John F Kennedy in his Civil Rights Speech, He wanted to give all Americans the right to serve in facilities that are open to the public; hotels, restaurants and theatres, and greater protection for the right to vote. However, as history tells it, John F Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963 so did not live to see the passing of this bill. This was not an easy law to pass. When the law came to the Senate for debate in March 1964 there were Senators led by Richard Russell who launched a filibuster to prevent its passage. Russell stated: “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our southern states”. So the passing of this law was an enormous step forward in the plight of Black Americans, which has helped to shape the world in which we now live – despite vehement opposition, the Civil Rights Act prevailed and changed the fate of our lives, our children’s lives and generations to come.Today is a day to reflect on freedom, and the unending fight for equality. I think it would be appropriate at this point to mention that today is Emmeline Pankhurst’s birthday. She was a British Political Activist and Leader of the British Suffragette Movement who helped women to win the right to vote.All in all I feel it’s a time to acknowledge that 50 years ago this month we took a giant leap in helping to heal some of the wounds of the United States and make it a greater country.I would like to end this blog with a video of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” released in December 1964. The song concerns the ill treatment of African-Americans and contains the iconic lyric, “It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.” The song was inspired by various personal events in Cooke’s life, most prominently an event in which he and his entourage were turned away from a Whites-only motel in Louisiana. Let’s hope that Cooke’s sentiment is right and more change is yet to come.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkWZjTPlQhc