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Australian Newspaper Republishes Controversial Cartoon of Serena Williams

14 September 2018

"The cartoon is about Serena, it was about her poor behaviour".

A controversial cartoon of US tennis star Serena Williams, showing the player as having a temper tantrum at the US Open, has been reprinted in an Australian newspaper.

The Herald Sun reported on Tuesday that Knight had been mentioned on Twitter almost 74,000 times following the cartoon's publication.

"If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena William cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very boring indeed", the cover reads. Maybe there's a different understanding of cartooning in Australia to America...

On pulling down his account amidst uproar on Twitter, Knight revealed that he did it to protect his family from the abuse. Today it ran the cartoon again, this time on the front cover, along with depictions of more public figures, with commentary alongside each one about why "self-appointed censors" might not want to see them.

Mark Knight said the world has gone "crazy" over the depiction, which some said were similar to historical racist cartoons.

Damon Johnston, the Herald Sun editor, said the cartoon "rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend" and that "Mr Knight has the full support of everyone [at the paper]".

The Aussie cartoonist at the centre of an global firestorm over a "racist" depiction of Serena Williams says his wife and daughter have been targeted with death threats.

"I thought they went over the top".

"I don't think that Mark Knight sat down with his 64 Crayola super pack with hatred in his heart for Serena Williams. I find it really, a little offensive", added fellow Melbourne resident Nowal Kahsai.

But some said the controversy had gone too far.

An indignant Williams emphatically defended herself, denying she had cheated.

"This is his [Knight's] job, isn't it?"

"The art of editorial cartooning is a visual dialogue on the issues of the day, yet this cartoon grossly inaccurately depicts two women of colour at the US Open, one of the grandest stages of professional sports". "Some of them very, very amusing".

Writing in an opinion article for the New York Times, the 61-year-old Czech-born American said a higher standard needed to be observed when Williams called chair umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" and was penalised a key game in the second set.

Melbourne-based tabloid The Herald Sun published a drawing by editorial cartoonist depicting Williams throwing a fit on the court and destroying her racquet after the 23-time grand slam champion lost in the final match of the US open to Naomi Osaka.

Williams was fined $17,000.

An Australian cartoonist faced withering criticism on Tuesday for portraying tennis superstar Serena Williams using - what Harry Potter author JK Rowling described as - "racist and sexist tropes".

Australian Newspaper Republishes Controversial Cartoon of Serena Williams