Mark Knight: The Cartoon about Serena Williams is not about race

Serena Williams didn't get it her own way in the US Open final where she was repeatedly penalised for various code

Cartoonist Mark Knight put together a cartoon depicting Serena Williams acting like a child at the U.S. Open for Australia's Herald Sun.

Those cheeky wags over at Fairfax have had some fun at rival News Corp's expense, publishing a cartoon yesterday afternoon that spoofs the ongoing controversy surrounding the Herald Sun's controversial Serena Williams' cartoon.

We asked Australian cartoonists Maddie Hah, Costa A, SBS Sexuality writer and illustrator Sam Leighton-Dore, and Walkley award-winning graphic novelist Safdar Ahmed how they interpreted the match, in light of the political and racial politics of what Williams represents for tennis and broader society.

In Mark Knight's cartoon, the umpire is shown telling a blonde, slender woman - meant to be Osaka, who is actually Japanese and Haitian - "Can you just let her win?".

Popular author JK Rowling said on Twitter, "Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop".

But he could have made his joke without distorting Williams's face to the point that she was unrecognizable, with only the tennis court and her outfit to indicate who she was supposed to be.

"If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very boring indeed", the paper wrote.

"I'm here fighting for women's rights and women's equality", Williams told a post-match news conference. That's the history. That's also what makes cartooning such an interesting thing to do and look at today. The moment was a clear instance of sexism, racism and double standards, but the Sydney Morning Herald mocked Williams with the image below, which was drawn by Mark Knight.

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.

Knight's social media accounts, meanwhile, have disappeared.

In this cartoon, Serena's lips and tongue have been exaggerated while she is seen stomping on her racket in anger.

In the United States, the National Association of Black Journalists condemned Knight's cartoon, calling it "repugnant on many levels". "I tried to reply to these people but they just don't listen", he said.

Williams is one of a small number of black female tennis players and is the most frequently drug-tested professional woman in the sport.

Critics say Knight's cartoon only reinforces historically negative stereotypes about African-American women and is akin to comedy sketches using blackface.

"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.



Latest news

Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm, mammoth rains likely
President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled his Thursday plan to board a navy ship in Bataan in central Luzon to conduct a missile test. Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing and displaced over 5 million in the central Philippines in 2013.

Hurricane Florence: Storm force winds for North Carolina within hours
In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate. Another four million people are under a tropical storm watch.

Here's Everything New At Apple: iPhone, Apple Watch, iOS And More
The mostly excellent Galaxy S9's new features aren't quite as good as we'd like, but you'll probably want to buy one anyway. Facial recognition technology has been around on other phones for years, but Apple made it more effective and more secure.

Apple Announces Apple Watch Series 4 with Bigger Display, New Watch Faces
The Apple Watch Series 4 comes with the new 64-bit S4 chip which reportedly makes it twice as fast as its predecessor. The accelerometer and gyroscope power all-day activity tracking and are also capable of identifying health strokes.

Florence Shifts, Taking Southerly Route Closer To Charlotte
The hurricane is about 470 miles (755km) east-southeast of Myrtle beach, SC with maximum sustained winds of 125mph (205km/h). The National Hurricane Center says it's now expected to hit Wilmington and then veer west, taking it south of Charlotte.

Other news