Tony Yayo — the rapper who inspired John Cena‘s famous “You Can’t See Me” gesture — is speaking out against those criticizing LSU hoops star Angel Reese for waving her hand toward Iowa star Caitlin Clark … saying, “When a Black girl do it, it’s a problem, but when a white girl do it, it’s not a problem.”
TMZ Sports spoke with the G-Unit MC — who was trending this past week after Reese’s celebration during last Sunday’s NCAA championship game — and he told us the criticism she’s been receiving is “kind of crazy.”
Yayo said trash-talking in sports is part of the game … adding he understands the emotions athletes experience when competing, especially for a national championship.
Yayo — who recently wrapped up a tour with 50 Cent and is gearing up to release new music this summer — said Reese is popularizing women’s basketball … and she’s elevating the sport to newer heights.
“You got Lil Wayne calling her phone,” Yayo said. “You got Boosie excited over LSU. This championship was big. Everybody knows who Angel Reese is now, as well as Caitlin Clark.”
Tony said he’s proud of how Reese has handled herself during the controversy … and doesn’t want it to diminish what the LSU Tigers accomplished, winning the program’s first NCAA women’s basketball national championship.
“I just don’t want all this stuff to overshadow the win,” Yayo said. “There are other people on the team. There’s a great coach [Kim Mulkey] over there. I’m definitely looking up to anybody that’s a role model to Black women in this world.”
Yayo also told us he’s not upset that people attribute the “You Can’t See Me” signal to John Cena — who admitted his little brother inspired him to make the gesture in WWE — and even praised Reese and Clark for paying homage to it after all these years.