An Australian newspaper most likely didn’t mean to create a racist cartoon of Serena Williams‘ incident at the US Open this past Saturday, but that’s what they’ve now got on their hands.
The cartoon — drawn by Mark Knight (editorial cartoonist for the Herald Sun newspaper) — shows the tennis superstar stomping on her racket.
But unfortunately for Knight and the Herald Sun, as TMZ points out, it looks like a Jim Crow-era, Sambo-style caricature of a black person — not Serena Williams.
As you can imagine, the cartoon has been blasted by athletes and celebs including author J.K. Rowling who had this to say about it:
“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.”
The cartoon’s racism is “about as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice,” noted sports writer/activist Jemele Hill.
And if you’re thinking the news outlet will take it down because of the protests, think again. So far, it’s still up. The Herald Sun is not retreating. In fact, they retweeted the image.
As we reported, Serena was penalized several times during Saturday’s U.S. Open finals match against Naomi Osaka. Serena went off on the judge claiming he was a “thief” who stole a point from her.
The judge then penalized Serena a game for the “verbal abuse.” Williams continued to go off on the guy to other tournament officials claiming the judge would never treat a man that way.
By the time things cooled down, Williams had been fined a total of $17,000 for her outbursts on the judge.
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