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Cartoonist slammed for ‘racist’ drawing of Serena

Published : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 at 1:06 PM Count : 464


A cartoonist is facing calls to apologise for a ‘racist’ depiction of Serena Williams facing Naomi Osaka.

It shows Serena Williams, 36, as a petulant child jumping in the air with a smashed racket on the ground, with a dummy lying on the court next to her.

Her opponent, who is Japanese with Haitian heritage, is pictured as white, blonde, and tiny in comparison to the ‘disgusting’ caricature of Serena Williams.

While Williams is shown having a tantrum, Osaka, 20, is seen reasoning politely with the umpire who asks, ‘Can you just let her win?’

‘You manage to be racist on several different levels here, not only in how you depict Serena, but also in erasing Naomi into a skinny blonde,’ Ian Rose wrote on Twitter.

Serena Williams was fined £13,000 for coaching, racquet abuse and for verbal abuse aimed towards the umpire after she called him a ‘thief’ and a ‘liar’ during her US Open final defeat to Naomi Osaka on Saturday.

She used her subsequent post-match press conference to call her initial penalty ‘sexist’, saying a man would not have been treated in the same way.


The furore split opinion. Some said Carlos Ramos acted fairly in applying the rules, while others, such as author Roxane Gay, said: ‘Tennis applies the rules inconsistently. This is not up for debate. Serena is penalised for things the men do and that white players so.

‘She is drug tested far more frequently. There are two sets of rules and it’s obscene.’

Several people compared the drawing of Serena to cartoons of black people created during America’s Jim Crow era.

Mark Knight, who drew the cartoon for Australian newspaper the Herald Sun and shared it online, defended himself by posting a cartoon he illustrated a few days earlier, claiming this proved he didn’t treat women differently.

‘Here’s a cartoon I drew a few days before when Australian male tennis player Kyrgios at the US Open was behaving badly,’ he said. ‘Don’t bring gender into it when it’s all about behaviour.’

Metro/SU



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