The sign, which read “You Mad Bro,” played on the popular Internet meme ”You mad?” Still, it sparked a controversy when Black attendees of the game made note of the added “Bro” and its alleged racial connotation.
Rapper Cam’ron coined the phrase in 2006 while being interviewed by Bill O’Reilly on his TV talk show. Cam’ron used the phrase to piss O’Reilly off, and typically it’s said to a raging person to heighten their anger.
“I think the reference to ‘bro’ in the sign definitely has a racial connection to it,” Michael Hanlon, superintendent for Painesville City Schools said to local channel Fox 8. And while the accusers also note that regardless of racial intent, the stunt was just bad sportsmanship, they seem to miss the connection to the popular meme, a Lolspeak phraseused to taunt folks while they’re down, which would have changed the context of this particular prank.