Serena Williams
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 5: Serena Williams of the United States in action during the Tie Break Tens Tennis Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 5, 2018 New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Update: 9/11/2018 11:46 a.m. EST

Mark Knight has deleted his Twitter account after sharing a racist cartoon of Serena Williams that resulted in a severe backlash aimed at him. His employer, The Herald Sun, is now defending its staff illustrator, implying with its new cover that reactions to the caricature are a sign of political correctness gone too far.  Check out the cover below.

Learn more about Knight and the illustration in question below.

Original Post: 9/10/2018 10:04 a.m. EST

Australian cartoonist Mark Knight is justifying his ignorance after being called out for a racist and sexist caricature of tennis superstar Serena Williams.

The editorial cartoonist for the Herald Sun in Melbourne, Australia, mocks Williams’ controversial loss to Naomi Osaka during Saturday’s U.S. Open final by portraying the athlete with an exaggerated face and body, stomping on her tennis racket with a pacifier on the ground. He insinuates she threw a childlike tantrum while contesting she didn’t receive illegal coaching and demanding an apology from umpire Carlos Ramos. The drawing also portrays Osaka, who is of Haitian and Japanese descent, as a blond White woman.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling felt the drawing reduced “one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes,” and turned “a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.” ESPN’s Jemele Hill called the racism “about as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice.”

“Don’t bring gender into it when it’s all about behavior,” Knight tweeted shortly after being called out for the illustration.

Knight then shared a previous cartoon he drew about male player Nick Kyrgios receiving a “pep talk” after sulking during a tournament. It shows a male official speaking to Kyrgios, but the official in the next panel, holding Kyrgios by the ear, is a woman.

Many feel as though the second cartoon actually reinforces Williams’ point that men are treated differently, as she was fined $17,000 for three code violations during Saturday’s final, according to TMZ.



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