Defiant Australian paper reprints ‘racist’ Serena cartoon

Serena Williams had a massive fallout with the chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the US Open 2018 Final

An Australian newspaper is defending a cartoon depiction of Serena Williams' U.S. Open outburst after widespread online criticism called the caricature "racist" and "sexist".

The Herald Sun's editor, Damon Johnston, also supported Knight and his cartoon.

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

Fellow cartoonists and Herald Sun editors, however, have come to the defense of Knight, slamming the backlash as evidence that the world has become too "PC" (politically correct).

"I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the U.S. Open final, and seeing the world's best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting", he told the Herald Sun.

The paper's editor had previously tweeted his support for the cartoonist, while the artist himself said "the world has just gone insane".

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, was outraged by Knight reducing Serena Williams to a 'to racist and sexist tropes'.

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The cartoon was also criticised by the veteran civil rights campaigner Reverend Jesse Jackson, who said it was "despicable", and Melbourne-born basketball star Ben Simmons.

Williams was docked a game during the defeat to Naomi Osaka for verbally abusing umpire Carlos Ramos, calling him a "thief" and a "liar" after he deducted a point from her for previous violations - coaching and smashing her racket. "She's passionate. She was speaking out and I think for Ramos, he was a little defensive at that point, and was fed up as opposed to saying, 'Okay, let's get back to business, '" Adams said.

'A champion tennis player had a huge tantrum on the world stage, and Mark's cartoon just depicted that. "There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behavior is punished - and not just in tennis", Navratilova said. Viewers could not have guessed that she won by looking at her crestfallen, teary-eyed expression throughout the immediate aftermath of the match.

However, the tennis champion's husband, Alexis Ohanian has broken his silence to slam Mark Knight's drawing as "blatantly racist and misogynistic".

The cartoon appeared in Herald Sun after Williams' lost in straight sets to Naomi Osaka during the weekend's US Open final.

A number of Twitter users showed their support on the social media site.

There has been a huge focus on Knight's decision to draw Williams with enlarged facial features including oversized lips. Williams protested that and demanded an apology from the umpire, who penalised her a game.

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