Australian cartoonist blasted for 'racist and sexist' depiction of Serena Williams

Serena Williams had no complaint with US Open winner Naomi Osaka

In the Herald Sun, Knight drew a cartoon that showed Williams having an on-court meltdown during the US Open final and the umpire urging her opponent, eventual victor Naomi Osaka, to let the 23-time grand slam victor win. This doesn't mean you can't ever draw Serena or people of colour without being labelled a racist, when there are plenty of non-racist cartoons and comics depicting black people, from the "Judgment Day" story in EC's Incredible Science Fiction, to Black Panther, to Real Deal Comix to Fat Albert. Knight said he had received death threats against his family since the cartoon was published, forcing him to suspend his Twitter account.

In Knight's cartoon, Williams was seen jumping up and down having spat out a dummy as the umpire asks Haitian-Japanese tournament victor Naomi Osaka "can't you just let her win?".

The cartoon fuelled a global debate over Williams' controversial defeat by Japan's Naomi Osaka in the US Open women's singles final in NY on Saturday.

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".

The newspaper's editor Damon Johnston proudly shared a photograph of it on Twitter.

Critics were offended by the depiction of Williams in particular, suggesting she was drawn as a "racist caricature".

The Herald Sun put Mark Knight's drawing on its front page on Tuesday, along with other caricatures and the headline "Welcome to the PC World".

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

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Knight also rejected a suggestion that he would not draw a similar image of a man.

"The world has officially gone mad when a celebrated cartoonist is condemned by the social media hordes for depicting a famous sports star throwing an unedifying tantrum".

Freelance journalist Funmi Olutoye told HuffPost UK she thought the cartoon played into negative portrayals of the 14-times Wimbledon champion in the media.

Meanwhile, former women's world number one player Billie Jean King said the decision to punish Williams is an example of the double standards at play in tennis. Knight said it was a cartoon about poor behaviour.

'I think freedom of speech is so important.I hope that she can see the amusing side of it and I hope she is here in January. Backlash against the image included disgust from Melbourne politician Rohan Leppert, who wrote: "The racist vilification of Melburnians from the Herald Sun continues apace".

"I don't believe them", the "Avengers" actor says.

The Herald Sun has hit out at those who criticised Mark Knight's drawing, which shows Williams jumping over a broken racquet next to a baby's dummy.

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