Boston police laud white basketball coach for Black History Month

The Boston Police Department came under fire Sunday for tweeting a Black History Month Tribute about a white basketball coach.

The original post on the department's official Twitter account Saturday night was in honor of former Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach. The department said in the tweet it was paying tribute to Auerbach for being the first NBA coach to draft a African-American player, play an all African-American starting lineup and hire the league's 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 read, according to the Boston Globe.

Boston PD's since-deleted tweet on Black History Month.

Boston PD's since-deleted tweet on Black History Month. (Twitter screencap)

Twitter users quickly jumped on the police department, calling the tweet irresponsible and tone deaf. Former city councilor Tito Jackson was among those who used social media to criticize the tweet.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.