Boston police are facing heavy criticism online for a now-deleted post on Twitter for Black History Month that celebrated a white man.
The original post on the department's official Twitter account Sunday was in honor of former Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach. The department tweeted that it was paying tribute to Auerbach for being the first NBA coach to draft a black player, start five African-American players, and hire the NBA's first African-American head coach.
Several Twitter users responded by calling the post "tone-deaf" and "clueless."
The tweet was deleted less than an hour after it was posted. The department's account later posted another tweet that night honoring Bill Russell, the first African-American head coach in the NBA.
The police department later issued another tweet apologizing.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement Monday saying the tweet was "completely inappropriate and a gross misrepresentation of how we are honoring Black History Month in Boston."
"We are celebrating the accomplishments and limitless contributions of the Black community to our city and the entire country, from Harriet Tubman to great leaders of today such as Chief Justice Ireland, artists like New Edition and Michael Bivins, powerful activists including Mel King and Superintendent Lisa Holmes, the first African-American woman to lead the Boston Police Academy training program. I am personally committing to the people of Boston that we will always honor our Black leaders, activists, and trailblazers with the respect they deserve, not just in February, but every day and every month of the year," said Walsh.
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Boston Police Commissioner William Evans also issued a statement Monday apologizing for the social media post.
"The tweet was insensitive and does not reflect the values of the Boston Police Department," he said.