Australian cartoonist accused of racism after Serena Williams tantrum depiction

An Australian cartoonist is being accused of racism, following his depiction of Serena Williams' US Open meltdown.

Williams, 36, a 23-time single grand slam champion, was given three separate code violations in her loss in Sunday's US Open final, resulting in Naomi Osaka being awarded a crucial point penalty which gifted her game seven of the second set, then an even more crucial game penalty to gift her the next game, and a 5-3 second set lead.

After the point penalty, Williams unleashed a furious outburst towards the match officials, delaying play for several minutes, culminating in her calling chair umpire Carlos Ramos "a thief".

In a cartoon in Australia's Herald Sun newspaper, cartoonist Mark Knight depicted Williams as throwing a tantrum, including a spat out dummy on the ground next to a destroyed racket.

In the background, a depiction of Ramos can be seen asking a characterisation of Osaka saying 'Can you just let her win?'

The cartoon itself though, is being labelled racist by many critics, including author JK Rowling.

"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," Rowling tweeted.

Knight responded though, tweeting back, referring to a similar cartoon from earlier in the tournament showing Nick Kyrgios saying:

"Don't bring gender into it when it's all about behavior." 

Cartoonist Mark Knight's depiction of Serena Williams' US Open meltdown
Cartoonist Mark Knight's depiction of Serena Williams' US Open meltdown Source: Herald Sun


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