BOSTON -- The Boston Police Department is facing heavy criticism online for a now-deleted Twitter post 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, and the department replaced it with a tweet that said "Our intentions were never to offend."
The department later posted a tweet in honor of Bill Russell, who was the NBA's first black head coach.
Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Monday called the original tweet "completely inappropriate and a gross misrepresentation of how we are honoring Black History Month in Boston.''
He said the city was celebrating "the accomplishments and limitless contributions'' of the black community, including activists, judges, musicians and Superintendent Lisa Holmes, the first African-American woman to lead the Boston Police Academy training program.