LIKE most people on the planet, I have been sitting this week watching the world unravel.

No one could have predicted what has happened over the last week.

As we slept on Monday night, a series of events began to unfold in America which would challenge the social contract.

Two people in New York - previously unknown to the world - were to have experiences which sparked the kind of reaction which no one could have ever expected.

Chris Cooper, a bird watcher and Harvard graduate, filmed Amy Cooper calling police.

She was claiming that an African-American man was threatening her life.

He had asked her to put her dog on a lead.

I didn’t realise at the time how bad this action really was until I did some further reading of history and realised that she had deliberately weaponised the situation.

She was effectively unleashing a weapon - because she knew that if the police had turned up this situation could have been reported in a completely different way or even worse, could have resulted in his death.

Stories such as Emmett Till's resonate here. He was a 14-year old boy who was murdered back in 1955 when a woman said she was scared when the young kid came into her shop.

He was brutally tortured and murdered and to this day, no justice has been served - even though the woman herself has admitted she lied.

What we are seeing today is so deep it cuts to the bone for some people.

On the very same day, another event was unfolding in the same country that would see one man suffer what no human being in this day in age should have to go through.

George Floyd died under the knee of Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer.

He had pressed it into Floyd's neck for nine minutes.

Footage shows this 46-year-old man calling for his mum and saying he can’t breathe.

Coming from a small Scottish village, I have always wanted to better understand the history which underpins the action, the reaction and the pain.

Ultimately, for a part of our society, these events are not just a one-off.

They exemplify a lifetime of discrimination, a lifetime of being judged.

What has unfolded since these events only further highlights the issues which continue to permeate our society.

Many of my friends are black and have spoken about their own experiences in sport and in daily life where they are constantly reminded of the colour of their skin.

As a white male and sportsman it piqued my interest about why.

I am always interested in the why, the philosophy behind our behaviours.

As a sportsman I was intrigued to look at sport; what is it like to be a black athlete?

In light of everything that has happened I felt compelled to reflect on some of the black athletes who have maybe been forgotten: athletes who trailblazed in their respective sports, paving the way for so many others to follow - no matter what they were faced with.

They showed up and stood tall.

In the 1936 Summer Olympics, Mack Robinson broke the Olympic record in the 200 meter final but finished behind Jesse Owens.

The Robinson family - which also included Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era - arrived in Pasadena in 1920.

To give you a sense of what Pasadena looked like for black athletes in 1920, the local swimming pool was a white only pool that allowed blacks to use it once a week.

The city would then drain it and fill it with fresh water.

When Robinson returned to Pasadena as an Olympic silver medalist, the only job he could get was sweeping the streets.

It is a far cry from the parades we have in the UK to celebrate our Olympic athletes.

He used to sweep the streets wearing his Olympic team top.

It wouldn’t be until 1997 that Mack’s legacy was cemented when the city built a bronze statue to recognise his sporting success.

So a lot of what we are seeing this week is less about one incident and more the result of years of programmed beliefs.

In another sport where everything was white (the balls, the shoes, the outfits, the net), a young lady called Althea Gibson graced the world.

Before we celebrated the Williams sisters, Gibson won Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958 but yet wasn’t allowed to ride on a bus with white people back home.

A hugely talented athlete, Gibson then turned professional in golf.

This was no easy task as many places banned black players in club houses and hotels in those days, but she paved the way for many black athletes by never giving up.

I feel sad to see that even today we as humans are capable of such hate towards another human just because of the colour of their skin.

Closer to home, our Scotland football team saw the first ever black association football player to play at the international level. Andrew Watson pulled on the national shirt in 1881.

This week, I leave my readers and myself with a thought challenge.

How do we change as a society? And how do we change this inner judgment that drives our actions?