BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Police deleted a tweet about Black History Month after it was criticized for celebrating a white man.

Police said they chose to pay tribute to Boston Celtics legend Red Auerbach because he was the first NBA coach to draft a black player. He also put together the first all-black starting five and hired the league’s first black head coach, Bill Russell.

A since-deleted Boston Police Department tweet. (Image Credit: Boston Police Twitter)

Several people responded to the tweet, suggesting the department should have honored someone else.

“As lovely as all those things are that Red did, black history month is not about white men. This is inappropriate,” one person responded.

“Is this a joke?” another asked.

One user called the tweet “tone-deaf,” while another called it a “swing and a miss.”

The tweet was deleted a short time later.

Later in the evening, Boston Police shared a tribute to Russell, calling him “one of the greatest Celtics of all time.”

Boston Police later apologized for the Auerbach tweet, saying, “Our intentions were never to offend.”

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