Mark Knight’s Serena Williams cartoon gets full support of Herald Sun

Serena Williams had no complaint with US Open winner Naomi Osaka

An Australian tabloid that printed a cartoon earlier this week caricaturing Serena Williams' behavior at Saturday's U.S. Open final reprinted it on Wednesday, despite the cartoon being widely criticized as racist and sexist.

Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston defended Knight and the cartoon saying the cartoon "had nothing to do with gender or race".

Knight's cartoon was in response to Serena Williams' meltdown at the U.S. Open both during and after her defeat to 20-year-old Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open.

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.

Beneath it, the newspaper offered this commentary: 'If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very tiresome indeed'.

On Monday the cartoon by Mark Knight, who has since deleted his Twitter account, was called racist, as it depicted Williams with stereotypically oversized features, throwing a tantrum. Knight's cartoon conjures up a range of such caricatures that were branded on memorabilia and popularized on stage and screen of the era, including the minstrel-show character Topsy born out of "Uncle Tom's Cabin", as well as the title character in 1899's "Little Black Sambo".

Other US media pointed out that Osaka was portrayed as petite and feminine with blonde straight hair - in real life she has dark curly hair with blonde streaks and is taller than Williams.

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The backlash against Knight - and Australia more generally - intensified over 24 hours as the image made global headlines - and nowhere more fiercely than in the US. I think that's what's resonates with people so much about Serena's journey, and explains the hysterical reaction against her. "She's a lot of fun to draw and I didn't draw her with malicious racial intent".

Serena Williams was warned and then penalised by match umpire Carlos Ramos during the weekend US Open women's final - including a code violation after her coach was identified giving instruction from the sidelines, a point penalty for smashing her racquet and a game docked for abusing the umpire.

The Herald Sun pushed back even further by predictably trying to minimize critics as being overly PC and showcasing other cartoons they've done. "Poor behaviour in any sport needs to be called out".

"I drew her as she is". They say I'm racist because I drew Naomi Osaka in the background with blond hair.

The Herald Sun defended the drawing of their artist Mark Knight, which had Williams leaping over her broken racket with a baby's dummy next to it.

"I saw Knight's cartoon and was not offended or angered".

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