Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King (File Photo)

Yesterday the world of sports and the rest of the world should have taken time off and saluted that man from Atlanta.

That man they called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If he had lived that man from Atlanta would have been 46 year old yesterday.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived, worked, and died for all of us.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped bring about progress in sports and all other walks of life.

Somewhere up there Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. must have been smiling Tuesday night when he looked on the Phoenix area in the Valley of the Sun and saw two black men—K.C. Jones of the winning East All-Stars and Al Attles of the West All-Stars coaching both teams.

Naturally, this was a first like so many of the firsts Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought about in his much too short life on this planet.

It must have brought an equal amount of joy to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s heart earlier this season when former Grambling State University star Matt Reed helped quarterback the Birmingham Americans to the WFL title in the city where he and Mrs. Rosa Parks et al started the successful bus boycott.

A boycott that brought the walls of segregation and discrimination tumbling down.

There is a lot of progress in sports today that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped bring about because of his successful and relentless campaign to help all Americans share in that elusive American dream.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. … had a dream … a dream that blacks would someday be judged not by the color of their skin but by the contents of their character.

I’m sure Dr. Martin Luther King would agree the world of sports has come as close to making this a reality as any other area of American life.

The world will long remember that another man from Atlanta via Alabama, Hank Aaron. Broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record in 1974.

And that Frank Robinson became the first black major league manager in history.

And that the St. Louis Cardinals’ Lou Brock broke Maury Willis’ all-time stolen bases record with 118.

Others will remember that Muhammad Ali upset George Foreman and the world to regain the world’s heavyweight championship.

But most of all the world should remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because he tried to help us all … and he was truly a prince of peace during our lifetime.