Boston, MA – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh accosted the Boston Police Department (BPD) on Monday, after the department posted a Black History Month tweet that honored a white man.
“In honor of # BlackHistoryMonth we pay tribute to @celtics legend # Red Auerbach for being the 1st @NBA coach to draft a black player in 1950, field an all African-American starting 5 in 1964 and hire the league’s 1st African-American head coach (Bill Russell) in 1966,” the department’s now-deleted post read, according to USA Today.
On Monday, Mayor Walsh harshly condemned the department for having honored the white NBA coach.
“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,” Walsh blasted, according to USA Today. "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."
The Boston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) also weighed in, calling the department’s post “sad” and “offensive,” and demanded a better apology than the one the BPD later issued.
“The decision of the Boston Police Department to celebrate Black History Month by celebrating a white man for hiring Black people is beyond perplexing,” the NAACP said in a Facebook post. “Every time we think there may be some signs of home...we get a reminder that we have a long way to go. A mighty long way to go.”
The BPD removed the Coach Auerbach post on Monday, and apologized for their message.
“BPD realized than an earlier tweet may have offended some and we apologize for that. Our intentions were never to offend,” the department tweeted.
"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,” the statement read.