Australian Newspaper Defends Serena's Cartoon

Australian Newspaper Defends Serena's Cartoon

An Australian cartoonist has defended his caricature of Serena Williams in the Herald Sun newspaper, after the image went viral and was panned as racist and sexist.

In a statement Tuesday, the newspaper's editor, Damon Johnston, said the cartoon "had nothing to do with gender or race."

Australian Newspaper Defends Serena's Cartoon

Mark Knight's cartoon showed Williams jumping above a broken racquet next to a baby's dummy, report the BBC and CNN. Critics said it showed racist stereotypes.

"A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and (the) cartoon depicted that," Johnston, said, referring to a cartoon published by cartoonist Mark Knight Monday after the US Open final, in which Williams had a tiff with the umpire over his allegedly sexist treatment of her.

The cartoonist denied it was racist, saying he had wanted to portray only the tennis player's "poor behavior."

Some critics also said Knight had "whitewashed" Japanese player Naomi Osaka.

Williams sparked an outcry during her loss to Osaka, whose father is Haitian and mother Japanese, when she accused the umpire of sexism and being a "thief."

Knight's drawing depicted Williams's outburst and showed the umpire asking Osaka: "Can you just let her win?"