Cartoonist Mark Knight Comes Under Fire for Serena Williams Cartoon

Tyler Owen
September 15, 2018

The husband of Serena Williams has broken his silence on the controversial cartoon of the U.S. tennis champion published by Australian newspaper Herald Sun.

"A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark's cartoon depicted that", Herald editor Damon Johnston wrote in a statement.

For its Wednesday edition, the Herald Sun filled its front page with cartoons, including the contentious Williams image, along with likenesses of U.S. president Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

The Herald Sun editor later tweeted a duplicate of Wednesday's front page - which reproduced the toon alongside a progression of others, hitting out at "self-appointed sensors of Mark Knight".

The Herald Sun reported on Tuesday that Knight had been mentioned on Twitter almost 74,000 times following the cartoon's publication.

However, the executive chairman of News Corp Australia Michael Miller defended Knight, saying the criticism of his cartoon "shows the world has gone too PC".

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) have backed those claims following Williams' straight sets defeat to Osaka.

Osaka not saddened by Serena row in U.S. Open final
Tennis Association and Women's Tennis Association have come out in support of Williams, which has angered the umpire community . King criticised Serena's lack of sportsmanship, but also said that Ramos was to blame for inflaming the situation.

The cartoon was also criticised by the veteran civil rights campaigner Reverend Jesse Jackson, who said it was "despicable", and Melbourne-born basketball star Ben Simmons.

"The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behaviour on the day, not about race".

An Australian cartoonist has faced heavy criticism after depicting tennis superstar Serena Williams in what some have described as a racially offensive illustration. The tournament referee's office docked Williams $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket.

"You are a liar", Williams said, while pointing her finger. Viewers could not have guessed that she won by looking at her crestfallen, teary-eyed expression throughout the immediate aftermath of the match.

The cartoon shows Williams drawn as hulking, muscular, with big-lips and squinty eyes in a drawing that mirrored multitudes of the infamous Little Black Sambo cartoons of the minstrel shows of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. And what that means is you can't criticize minority groups for poor behavior. She added, "He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief.' For me it blows my mind".

The last certainly has not been heard over US Open ladies final outburst as Umpires are considering boycotting Serena Williams' future games.

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