Serena Williams' husband breaks silence on 'racist' cartoon

Serena Williams' husband breaks silence on 'racist' cartoon

By Sunday, a cartoon poking fun at Serena Williams and her tantrum was published by the Herald Sun, enraging celebrities and the public for what they have deemed a "racist" depiction of the tennis star.

Herald Sun editor, Damon Johnson also chimed in.

Mark Knight, a cartoonist for The Herald Sun in Australia, said in an interview that his portrayal of Williams stomping on her racket as the chair umpire asked Naomi Osaka to let Williams win was an accurate representation of their final match.

Knight's Twitter account appears to no longer be active.

Knight responded with cartoon he said he drew of Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios who was "behaving badly" at the U.S. Open.

Serena Williams had a confrontation with umpire Carlos Ramos at the U.S. Open final, which inspired Mark Knight's cartoon.

Despite evidence to the contrary, a mob of Twitter users would go after Knight declaring him and his cartoon racist.

"'Well done on turning one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes, '" said Knight, reading J.K. Rowling's criticism of his cartoon.

Williams, who was ranked 17th in the world, lost to 20th ranked Osaka, 6-2, 6-4, on September 8.

America's National Association of Black Journalists called the cartoon "repugnant on many levels".

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced on September 9 that Williams must pay a fine of $17,000: $10,000 for verbally abusing the umpire, $4,000 for receiving a warning about coaching; and $3,000 for smashing her racket on the court.

An Australian newspaper has found itself at the centre of a race row over its cartoonist's depiction of Serena Williams and is doubling down on its support for the artist.

Williams was "simply outplayed and lost her temper in a huge and ill-disciplined blow-up", the column said.

In addition to her extraordinary tennis skills as displayed in her dominant performance against Williams in her first Grand Slam win, the Japanese-born athlete with a Haitian father is now also being recognized for her broad global endorsement appeal.

Prior to disabling his account, his tweet of the cartoon had attracted more than 22,000 comments, a lot of them critical. "It rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend..."

One astute Twitter user would point out that Osaka wears a blonde ponytail.

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. Novak Djokovic, the U.S. Open men's champion, criticised Ramos, while Court backed the use of the code violation penalty.

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