I HAVE read about racism in the newspapers.
I know about the White Australia Policy and the 2005 Cronulla riots.
But for most of my life I have escaped being exposed to racism first-hand, that is, until Sunday afternoon at the football.
I was at the clash between North Melbourne and Port Adelaide with my family.
During the second quarter three middle-aged men sat down in the seats behind us.
They were loud.
They were obnoxious.
And they would not stop swearing.
In fact, the language flowing from their mouths was so disgusting one man sitting with his young son nearby got up and moved seats.
Up until this point we tolerated the complete lack of respect and disregard these men showed us.
That is, until, one of the men racially slurred North Melbourne midfielder Daniel Wells.
I almost exploded.
It was one of the most uneducated, small-minded and cowardly comments I have ever heard.
Have we not learnt anything?
I am struggling to understand how some people believe it is still acceptable to be racist.
Sadly, this man will never learn.
He will never be a leader of change, unlike the people around him who took on the responsibility of reporting the incident to stadium management, who then contacted Victoria Police.
Officers removed the man from the stadium and he was given a 24-hour ban.
The role of the people and police was heroic.
It demonstrated the little tolerance most of us have for racism in our society.
It was a small step in the fight in stamping out racial discrimination.
As long as we keep standing up to these people, there is hope that one day, we will live in a society where no one discriminates on the basis of race.
So to the officers and the people seated in aisle eight, I take my hat off to you.