Ali Was A Warm, Kind, Spirited Human Being; We Know This From Personal Experience

A smaller part of our CBS Atlanta radio family is WAOK 1380 AM.

Decades ago it was Atlanta’s #1-rated African-American-formatted Gospel giant… with a full staff… including a Sportscaster named Joe Walker.

Joe was blind. Totally blind. But that never stopped Joe from calling a good game… whatever the sport.

And somewhere back in that decades-ago past, Ali had a press conference at the old Heart of Atlanta motel. Believe it’s Georgia State student housing now.

At any rate, as good as blind Joe was at calling a game or a fight, he wasn’t much of a driver… so I took him down to the press conference.

All the major networks were represented… cameras rolling… and as you’d expect, a full local contingent of News / Sports reporters were there as well.

In other words, it was a crowded room.

Ali took the podium… began speaking… turning his head slowly while surveying the crowd.

No more than 10 – 20 seconds into his “Hello”, he spotted Joe… said, “Excuse me”… and stepped down… walked over to Joe… and gave him a big ‘ol “man hug”… way before man-hugs were popular.

In short, just another sliver of a glimpse into what was a class act… a genuinely warm and spirited human being… who was true to his beliefs… and true to his friends.

By Bob Jackson

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