Australian Newspaper Attempts To Defend Racist Serena Williams Cartoon

Dean Simpson
September 15, 2018

Popular author JK Rowling said on Twitter, "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".

Williams' heated exchanges with an umpire at the tournament final this week have stirred the tennis world.

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

The Herald Sun and the cartoonist denied the accusation, and despite the reactions and outrage it provoked, the paper reprinted the cartoon on Wednesday under the front page headline "WELCOME TO PC WORLD".

Following the backlash, Knight rebuked criticism that the cartoon was racist and sexist, and suspended his Twitter account to "protect his family and friends", the Sun wrote Tuesday.

Knight said he had sought to reply to comments made by people on social media 'but they don't listen'.

"Don't bring gender into it when it's all about behaviour", he said.

The Herald Sun, owned by a News Corp subsidiary, published a defense of its cartoonist on the home page of its website, quoting Knight as saying: "The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behavior on the day, not about race". "I don't know how I could have done it any other way", Knight said.

A Lebanese racist nobody's opinion on Serena Williams, a person and an athlete a million times the person that he is.

"It rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend", Johnston tweeted.

Due to her stellar rise in popularity, the young athlete is also expected to land more endorsement deals in addition to her current sponsors which include Yonex, Citizen and Nissin Foods.

Nasheed, an African American, said, "This is how @Knightcartoons and @theheraldsun in #Australia portrayed #SerenaWilliams in their publication today".

Despite collecting just $62,000 between June 2017 and June 2018 due to a break to have her daughter Olympia, Williams earned $18.1 million to be the world's top-earning female athlete thanks to a lucrative endorsement portfolio.

She then demanded an apology from the umpire, Carlos Ramos. Ramos warned and penalized Williams for three rule violations, including smashing her racket on the court.

'In comparison, I never saw (Rafael) Nadal shouting like that with an umpire, ' she said.

"It was here that Ms. Williams really started to lose the plot".

She was joined in her criticism of the piece by comedian Kathy Griffin, who called Knight a "racist piece of s**t".

Matters escalated and Williams called Ramos a "thief", incurring the crucial game penalty.

In the background, a blonde opponent faces a chair umpire who pleads: "Can you just let her win?"

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