updated 6/20/2009 5:01:28 PM ET 2009-06-20T21:01:28

Former President Bill Clinton says the need to push for racial equality is far from over.

Clinton said Saturday that despite such racial progress as the election of Barack Obama as president, economic, educational and other social divides remain.

Clinton spoke at Major League Baseball's Beacon Awards luncheon in Cincinnati. As president, he took part in a 1997 ceremony retiring Jackie Robinson's No. 42 uniform number.

Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron, boxing's Muhammad Ali and entertainer Bill Cosby were honored for their contributions to civil rights and charitable works.

Clinton says to honor them, people should "recognize that this struggle is nowhere near over.''

The luncheon was among events leading to Saturday night's first regular-season Civil Rights Game, between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds.

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