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.
BPD realizes that an earlier tweet may have offended some and we apologize for that. Our intentions were never to offend. It has been taken down.— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) February 12, 2018
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.
Only in #Boston do the @bostonpolice honor Red Auerbach for #blackhistorymonth. So we already have the shortest month and now this. Please file this under Hell Nah aka Not Having it aka Not Ok. #bospoli #Boston #mapoli https://t.co/Jv38uutK0e— Tito Jackson (@titojackson) February 12, 2018
This is unbelievably clueless. Seriously? this is tonedeaf and irresponsible. This tweet should be deleted, followed by an apology— Rick Waldron (@rwaldron) February 12, 2018
Well done. Everyone knows black history month is all about honoring white guys.— Jasmine Shmasmine (@JasIsReady) February 11, 2018
Is this a joke?— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) February 11, 2018
Nice optics, Boston.— Erin Altman (@AltmanErin) February 12, 2018
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.
#ICYMI: In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth we pay tribute to Bill Russell, one of the greatest @celtics of all time and the first African-American head coach in the history of the NBA when he was named @celtics coach on November 15, 1966. pic.twitter.com/gKX7zpcUQt— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) February 12, 2018