BPD apologizes for Black History Month tweet featuring Red Auerbach

BOSTON (WHDH) — The Boston Police Department apologized Monday after sending a tweet about Black History Month honoring legendary Celtics owner Red Auerbach.

The tweet was sent out Sunday night and read, “In honor of Black History Month, we pay tribute to Celtics legend Red Auerbach for being the first NBA coach to draft a black player in 1950, field an all African-American starting five in 1964 and hire the league’s first African-American head coach, Bill Russell, in 1966.”

The tweet was up for about an hour before it was deleted. It was replaced with a tweet that read, “BPD realizes that an earlier tweet may have offended some and we apologize for that. Out intentions were never to offend. It has been taken down.”

The tribute sparked backlash right away. Former city councilor Tito Jackson tweeted at police that “only in Boston” could this have happened and said it shows the department needs more diversity. Larry Ellison, the president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, agreed.

“I don’t think there was any ill intent as far as it was motivated and there was purpose. By not understanding the audience you’re targeting, by not speaking to organizations such as this, this is what happens.”

Mayor Marty Walsh also weighed in with a statement:

“Yesterday’s tweet from the Boston Police Department was completely inappropriate and a gross misrepresentation of how we are honoring Black History Month in Boston.”

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans apologized again on Monday, issuing a statement that read, “On behalf of the Boston Police Department, I offer my sincerest apologies for last night’s social media post on Black History Month. The tweet was insensitive and does not reflect the values of the Boston Police Department.”

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