(NNPA)—A high school football game in Painesville, Ohio caused tension when students and supporters of the winning team held up a banner that some thought was racially offensive.
According to Fox News’ Cleveland affiliate WJW-TV, after Kirtland High School defeated Painsville Harvey High during a football game on Sept. 2, Kirtland students celebrated their victory by raising a sign that read, “You Mad, Bro?” enraging some Black attendees.
“At the conclusion of the game, some of their students put up a sign that we believe was racial intimidation, ethnic intimidation,” Roderick Coffee, president of the Lake County chapter of the NAACP told WJW.
The phrase is a popular Internet meme that’s often used to taunt someone who is already angry. The saying can be viewed all over the web and even has its own Facebook page, but some say it has racial undertones.
“I think the reference to ‘bro’ in the sign definitely has a racial connection to it,” Michael Hanlon, superintendent for Painesville City Schools told WJW.
Steve Barrett, Kirtland School’s superintendent told the Willoughby, Ohio News-Herald that although he believes his students didn’t intend to offend anybody, the sign still represented bad sportsmanship.
“Our kids didn’t intend this, but people are upset,” Barrett said. “We have to help them understand why. The question moving forward is how do we create better citizens and how do we improve relationships. [It’s] a great opportunity for learning.”
Kirtland officials say they are currently conducting an investigation into how many students were involved with making the sign, but have not announced if there would be any disciplinary action.
(Reprinted from the Afro American)