By Cassandra Yany 2/13/2018

The Boston Police Department is facing backlash over a tweet honoring a white man for Black History Month. The tweet has since been deleted.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

On Sunday, the Boston Police Department tweeted that it is celebrating Black History Month by paying tribute to Celtics legend Red Auerbach. The tweet recognized him for being the first NBA coach to draft a black player, start five African-American players in a game, and for hiring Bill Russell as the first African-American head coach in the league.

The tweet immediately received criticism, with Twitter users calling it “tone-deaf” and “an idiotic move.” Former city councilor, Tito Jackson, responded to the post via Twitter saying, “Only in #Boston do the @bostonpolice honor Red Auerbach for #blackhistory month.” In a separate tweet Jackson said, “The issue is that there are so many untold, unacknowledged black people in history that need to be acknowledged and understood.”

The department deleted the original post and replaced it with a tweet referring back to its Feb. 3 post which honored Bill Russell. The account released an apology early Monday morning saying, “our intentions were never to offend.” The apology has received mixed replies, with some calling it “dishonest and cowardly” and others not understanding why the initial tweet was offensive.

Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement in response to the situation Monday morning, calling the tweet “inappropriate” and “a gross misrepresentation” of how the city honors Black History Month.

Stay tuned to for more coverage and reaction throughout the week.