Aussie cartoonist's 'racist' depiction of Serena Williams sparks outrage

An Australian cartoonist has sparked outrage over his controversial depiction of Serena Williams following her epic meltdown at the US Open.

The cartoon has since gone viral, with some labelling it as a “racist” and “sexist” portrayal of the 23-time Grand Slam champion.

Mark Knight of the Herald Sun posted his illustration on Twitter on Monday morning, and it completely erupted – but he has since defended his work by saying the “world has gone crazy”.

This Serena Williams depiction has caused a massive stir. Pic: Mark Knight

The cartoon shows Serena Williams destroying her tennis racquet with a child’s dummy next to her.

In the background, Naomi Osaka is discussing with the chair umpire Carlos Ramos with a question posed from him in a speech bubble, “Can you just let her win?”.

The cartoon received an intense reaction online, with some high-profile people taking to social media to vent their opinions.









Despite the massive backlash, Mark Knight provided a short response to the overwhelming response, telling critics to not bring gender into it.

“Here’s a cartoon I drew a few before when Australian male tennis player Kyrgios at the US Open was behaving badly,” Knight tweeted.

“Don’t bring gender into it when it’s all about behaviour. I’ll accept your apology in writing.”


The cartoon was produced in response to Williams’ meltdown in the US Open final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka.

Williams was fined US$17,000 (AU$24,000) by the US Tennis Association in the wake of her outburst.

The American star was fined for coaching, racquet abuse and for verbal abuse when she accused umpire Carlos Ramos of being “a thief” during Saturday’s stormy final.

Williams was incensed at the coaching violation, although coach Patrick Mouratoglou, sitting in her box, admitted that he was coaching when he moved his hands.

That violation carried a $4,000 fine, while a second violation for racquet abuse – after she smashed her racquet after dropping her serve in the fifth game of the second set – cost her $3,000.

The second violation also cost her a point in the match, sparking her renewed verbal attack on Ramos, a code violation that carried a $10,000 fine.

Her third code violation of the match also cost her a game, putting Osaka on the brink of what would be a 6-2 6-4 victory that made her the first Japanese player to win a grand slam title.

The combined fine is minuscule compared to Williams’ US$1.85 million (AU$2.6m) cheque for reaching the final but in line with other sanctions at the grand slam.

Cartoonist defends ‘racist’ Serena depiction

An Aussie cartoonist has broken his silence over a controversial depiction of Serena Williams that has sparked outrage.

Mark Knight of the Herald Sun posted his illustration on Twitter on Monday morning, sparking a firestorm of criticism.

The cartoon shows Serena destroying her tennis racquet with a child’s dummy next to her.

Many labelled the cartoon “racist” and “sexist”, but Knight says it had nothing to do with either of those things.

“I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world’s best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting,” he told the Herald Sun on Tuesday.

Serena Williams argues with the officials at the US Open. Pic: Getty

“It’s been picked up by social media in the US and my phone has just melted down.

“The world has just gone crazy.”

Knight said his cartoon was about Serena’s poor behaviour, rather than anything about gender of race.

“Three days before I had drawn a cartoon about Nick Kyrgios being led off by the ears, like you used to do with your children,” he said.

“The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behaviour on the day, not about race.”

Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston also defended the cartoon.

“A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark’s cartoon depicted that,” Johnston said.

“It had nothing to do with gender or race.”

with Agencies.