Metro

Boston police apologize after tweeting a Black History Month tribute to a white man

Screen capture via Twitter

The Boston Police Department apologized early Monday after tweeting a Black History Month tribute post that honored a white man.

The tweet, which was deleted less than an hour after it went up Sunday night, was posted on the department’s official account “in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth.” However, the tweet celebrated the accomplishments of former Boston Celtics coach and president Red Auerbach, who was white.

Police officials responded to mounting criticism Monday on Twitter.

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The tweet lauded Auerbach for being the first NBA coach to draft a black player, field an all-African-American starting lineup, and hire the league’s first African-American head coach.

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The pushback to the tweet was swift, with many users — including former city councilor Tito Jackson — saying the post was tone-deaf, inappropriate, and missed the point of Black History Month.

Several tweets also called for the department to apologize for the post.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday, the department’s account reposted a Black History Month tweet that was originally posted on Feb. 3, honoring Bill Russell, the first African-American NBA coach.

Sean Smyth of the Globe staff contributed to this report. J.D. Capelouto can be reached at jd.capelouto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.