Shocking 'death threat' development over 'racist' Serena cartoon

Yolanda Curtis
September 13, 2018

According to Australian newspaper The Herald Sun and its cartoonist, Mark Knight, a cartoon of Serena Williams that echoes the harmful caricatures of black men and women once drawn in a shameful part of United States history isn't racist.

Yet, the rage of the fans across the world seems to have enough fire to threaten Australian cartoonist Mark Knight enough for him to have deleted his Twitter account facing huge backlash after he sketched a Serena cartoon on the Herald Sun.

The number-one-world ranked athlete threw a veritable temper tantrum on the court Saturday, which began when she incurred a penalty and escalated as she was penalized further by umpire Carlos Ramos for her behaviour.

In response, The Herald Sun's editorial cartoonist Mark Knight lampooned Williams in his latest piece.

Knight posted the cartoon on his Twitter account Monday, but has since disabled it after attracting tens of thousands of comments, majority critical.

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.

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Serena Williams hugs Naomi Osaka, of Japan, after Osaka defeated Williams in the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in NY.

The cartoon was criticized for using racist and sexist tropes.

"Mark has the full support of everyone".

However, the cartoon still drew widespread criticism, most notably online.

"Because I'm a woman, you're going to take this away from me?" she said. As an African-American woman, so this whole business that I am some sort of racist, calling on racial cartoons from the past, it's just made up.

Knight, like nearly every cartoonist, mocks the powerful and famous when required; whether it be prime ministers like Malcolm Turnbull or presidents like Donald Trump.

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Many people on social media were not happy with the Herald Sun standing firm over the cartoon.

Many years of outrage over articles and cartoons did little to hurt Murdoch's power over British politics and media, though his papers' underhanded practices did.

"It rightly mocks poor behavior by a tennis legend", Johnson tweeted.

The cartoonist "completely missed the point of why she was upset", De Luca told The Associated Press.

On Monday, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) chastised the Australian paper for printing the offensive image.

I've lived there, and watched people of colour be denied entry to bars for dress code reasons, only to watch white peeps stroll in moments later wearing shorts and flip flops.

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"The Sept. 10 cartoon not only exudes racist, sexist caricatures of both women, but Williams' depiction is unnecessarily sambo-like", read the NABJ's statement.

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