Steven Yablonski, WFXT-TV, February 12, 2018
The Boston Police Department is apologizing Monday morning after it faced scathing backlash for honoring Red Auerbach, a white man, in a tweet Sunday night.
The tweet posted to the Boston Police Department Twitter account, began by saying, “In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth,” but goes on to celebrate the accomplishments of Auerbach, who was white.
“We pay tribute to @celtics legend #RedAuerbach for being the 1st @NBA coach to draft a black player in 1950, field an all African-American starting five in 1964 and hire the league’s 1st African-American head coach (Bill Russell) in 1966,” the tweet read.
The tweet was deleted about an after it was posted after the backlash.
Boston police later tweeted out an acknowledgement of Bill Russell, and then apologized for the Auerbach tweet just after midnight Monday.
The Boston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also slammed the Boston Police Department for deciding to honor a white man during Black History Month.
“As an organization we are often asked why we talk about race,” the statement read. “We are asked to give the city more credit for progress. We do…and then this. Every time we think there may be some signs of hope…we get a reminder that we have a long way to go. A mighty long way to go.”
The NAACP said the people of Boston deserve an apology.
“And not the tweet that says ‘May have offended some’ or ‘Not our intention,’” the statement read. “That does not matter. The tweet was offensive. Period.”