Cartoonist Mark Knight Comes Under Fire for Serena Williams Cartoon

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Serena Williams of the United States argues with umpire Carlos Ramos during her Women's Singles finals match against Naomi Osaka of Japan on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Cartoonist Mark Knight put together a cartoon depicting Serena Williams acting like a child at the U.S. Open for Australia’s Herald Sun. In the cartoon you can see his depiction of Serena stomping on a tennis racket while a pacifier lies on the ground next to her. In the background, the chair umpire asks her opponent, Naomi Osaka, “Can you just let her win?”

Mark Knight Serena Williams

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. According to CNN, Williams claimed umpire Carlos Ramos was sexist after she received a number of code violations during the match which included a warning for coaching. He also penalized her for smashing her racket. Then Williams got a game penalty for the verbal abuse she directed towards Ramos. Williams said, “You stole a point from me and you are a thief.”

Serena Williams

After the match, Williams would declare, “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark.” She added, “He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ For me it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women.”

The International Tennis Federation stood by umpire Carlos Ramos:

“Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis. Mr. Ramos’ decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were re-affirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offenses.”

Williams was fined $17,000 in total.

Knight’s cartoon in response to Williams on-court and off-court antics quickly came under fire from Chicago sports radio host Julie DiCaro.

Knight quickly quashed DiCaro’s ignorant outrage by posting a cartoon he did featuring Australian tennis player Kyrgios.

Mark Knight Krygios

Others would question why Knight gave Osaka a blonde ponytail.

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

However, he would go on to recant his observation.

You can see her blonde highlights in the photo below:

Naomi Osaka

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 30: Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates during her ladies singles second round match against Zarina Diyas of Kazhakstan during day four of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on May 30, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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

Even former director of the United States Officer of Government Ethics got in on the act.

Walter Shaub

Knight’s twitter account has subsequently been deleted or at the very least deactivated.

Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston defended Knight and the cartoon saying the cartoon “had nothing to do with gender or race.” He added, “A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and (the) cartoon depicted that.”

He also Tweeted out the front page of the Herald Sun that reads, “If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed.”

Do you think the cartoon is racist or does it properly satirize Serena Williams’ meltdown after losing to Naomi Osaka.

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