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Tags: cartoonist | mark knight | serena williams | racist

Cartoonist: Serena Williams US Open Depiction Not Racist

Cartoonist: Serena Williams US Open Depiction Not Racist
Serena Williams smashes her racquet at US Open. (Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 September 2018 07:26 AM

An Australian cartoonist who depicted Serena Williams throwing a tantrum at the U.S. Open has denied his portrayal was racist or sexist amid widespread criticism this week.

Mark Knight’s illustration appeared Monday in the Melbourne-based tabloid The Herald Sun following William’s loss in the final match of the U.S. Open on Saturday to Naomi Osaka, Time reported.

Knight posted to Twitter an image of his cartoon depicting Williams jumping on her broken racquet with a baby’s pacifier lying on the court next to her.

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos sits in the background, asking Osaka, “Can you just let her win?”

A day after the match, the tournament referee's office docked Williams $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching, and $3,000 for breaking her racquet.

Williams accused Ramos of sexism and has since gained the backing of the Women's Tennis Association and the U.S. Tennis Association.

However, the International Tennis Federation has defended Ramos, saying his "decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules," The Associated Press reported. The ITF on Monday said that Ramos' citations were "reaffirmed by the U.S. Open's decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offenses."

"Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity," the governing body of tennis added.

Knight’s cartoon ignited a storm of outrage on social media, with many calling it racist and sexist.

Even “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, weighed in on Twitter on the matter.

“Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop,” Rowling tweeted.

The Herald Sun and its editor, Damon Johnston, have strongly defended Knight’s cartoon.

“@Knightcartoons cartoon is not racist or sexist .... it rightly mocks poor behavior by a tennis legend ... Mark has the full support of everyone @theheraldsun,” Johnston tweeted.

The editor also defended Knight on the newspaper’s website, noting that “a champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark’s cartoon depicted that.”

He explained that the cartoon had “nothing to do with gender or race. this was about a bad sport being mocked.”

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TheWire
An Australian cartoonist who depicted Serena Williams throwing a tantrum at the U.S. Open has denied his portrayal was racist or sexist amid widespread criticism this week.
cartoonist, mark knight, serena williams, racist
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2018-26-11
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 07:26 AM
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