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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.

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.


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.