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Boston Police apologises after controversial Black History Month tweet

Boston Celtics coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach
Boston Celtics coach Arnold “Crimson” Auerbach was honoured in a tweet by the Boston Police Division – File photograph
Brian Snyder/Getty Pictures

The Boston Police division has publicly apologised after it confronted criticism for a social media publish aimed toward celebrating Black Historical past Month. The tweet, posted on Sunday (11 February), paid tribute to a white coach — former Boston Celtics coach Arnold “Crimson” Auerbach.

As a part of his quite a few achievements, Auerbach was the primary coach in NBA historical past to draft a black participant, Chuck Cooper. In 1966, he employed the primary African-American head coach of the league, Invoice Russell.

The tweet, that includes an image of the Auerbach statue at Boston’s Faneuil Corridor Market, learn: “In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth, we pay tribute to @celtics legend #RedAuerbach for being the first@NBA coach to draft a black participant in 1950, subject an All African-American beginning 5 in 1964 and rent the league’s 1st African-American head coach (Invoice Russell) in 1966.”

Backlash ensued virtually immediately over the tone-deaf nature of the tweet.

Since its official recognition in 1976, Black Historical past Month has been celebrated within the US with the aim of honouring the uncared for accomplishments of the African-American group. In mild of this custom, Twitter customers criticised the police division’s option to not characteristic a black determine, calling it “tone-deaf” and “out of contact”.

Quickly after the backlash, the division proceeded to delete the tweet and launch a public apology that learn: “BPD realizes that an earlier tweet could have offended some and we apologize for that. Our intentions have been by no means to offend.”

The assertion adopted an #ICYMI tweet that includes Invoice Russell, who was honoured by the division on three February.

As reported by CBS Boston, Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh condemned the now-deleted tweet. He referred to as it “fully inappropriate and a gross misrepresentation of how we’re honoring Black Historical past Month in Boston”.

“I’m personally committing to the folks of Boston that we’ll at all times honor our Black leaders, activists and trailblazers with the respect they deserve, not simply in February, however on daily basis and each month of the yr,” Walsh mentioned within the assertion on Monday.

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