The Boston Police Department chose to celebrate an equality-minded white basketball coach for Black History Month, and promptly got blasted for it on Twitter.
In a since deleted tweet posted on Saturday night, the Boston Police Department chose to celebrate former Celtics coach Red Auerbach. While Auerbach is white, the department chose to honor him because he was the first NBA coach to draft an African-American player, play an all African-American starting lineup, and hiring the first African-American head coach.
“In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth we pay tribute to the @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 explained, according to the Boston Globe.
It did not take long for those eager to be offended to be…well…offended. Former city councilor Tito Jackson made his disgust known:
Only in #Boston do the @bostonpolice honor Red Auerbach for #blackhistorymonth. So we already have the shortest month and now this. Please file this under Hell Nah aka Not Having it aka Not Ok. #bospoli#Boston#mapolihttps://t.co/Jv38uutK0e
— Tito Jackson (@titojackson) February 12, 2018
It did not take long for BPD to apologize and retract the tweet:
The tone deafness this tweet showed does not speak well for the department.
— House of Mirth (@HouseOfMirth29) February 12, 2018
What this shows me is that at just 10 days into BHM the PD has so little knowledge about black history involving black people that they had to start discussing all the ways they've "been so good to you people" ala Miss Millie
— James T. Jones, Esq. (@lawsforwords) February 12, 2018
— Matt Donovan (@mcjdonovan) February 12, 2018
According to Fox News, “The tweet was deleted less than an hour after it was posted. The department’s account later posted another tweet that night honoring Bill Russell, the first African-American head coach in the NBA. The police department apologized for the tweet early Monday.”
Here is BPD’s follow-up tweet, posted late Sunday night:
BPD realizes that an earlier tweet may have offended some and we apologize for that. Our intentions were never to offend. It has been taken down.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) February 12, 2018