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Boston Police Department apologizes after sharing 'inappropriate' tweet about Black History Month

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The Boston Police Department on Monday apologized for sharing what critics called an "inappropriate" tweet to commemorate Black History Month that received much criticism.

The tweet, which was posted Sunday night, honored former Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach — a white man — for giving an opportunity to black Americans to play professional basketball.

What was the tweet all about?

The tweet — which has since been removed from the Boston Police Department's Twitter page — celebrated Auerbach, the Celtics' coach from 1950-1966. Auerbach won nine championships in Boston.

The tweet read, "In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth, 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."

What have people said about this?

After the department received a ton of backlash over the post, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh issued a statement Monday condemning the tweet's content.

"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 said. "We are celebrating the accomplishments and limitless contributions of the Black community to our city and the entire country, from Harriet Tubman to great leaders of today such as [retired state] Chief Justice [Roderick] Ireland, artists like New Edition and Michael Bivins, powerful activists including [mayoral candidate] Mel King and Superintendent Lisa Holmes, the first African-American woman to lead the Boston Police Academy training program."

Walsh added, "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."

According to ESPN, the police department removed the tweet within an hour of posting it and issued an apology of their own.

"BPD realizes that an earlier tweet may have offended some and we apologize for that," a Monday tweet read. "Our intentions were never to offend. It has been taken down."

After deleting the tweet, the department followed up their apology celebrating the career of former Celtics head coach, Bill Russell.

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