Australian Newspaper Republishes Controversial Cartoon of Serena Williams

Tim Clayton- Corbis via Getty Images

Tim Clayton- Corbis via Getty Images

In an editorial on Tuesday, the Herald Sun said a "tidal wave of ill-informed critics" should "take a breath and consider the facts".

The husband of Serena Williams has broken his silence on the controversial cartoon of the USA tennis champion published by Australian newspaper Herald Sun.

In an interview with Australian publisher, Herald Sun, who are solidly behind the cartoonist, Knight said that the cartoon was about her reactions which earned her penalties on Sunday night's US Open finals.

"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.

Prior to disabling his account, his tweet of the cartoon had attracted more than 22,000 comments, a lot of them critical.

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Democratic candidate for Florida's 18th Congressional District Pam Keith also called out Knight for the Serena Williams cartoon, referring to the depiction as something from the 1930's.

"A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark's cartoon depicted that". In the cartoon you can see his depiction of Serena stomping on a tennis racket while a pacifier lies on the ground next to her.

The caricature has also sparked renewed debate in Australia about racist and sexist discourse in the highly multicultural nation. "But I'm not going to call him a racist, but I don't like the look of it", Guy said. I think people have just misinterpreted. "I find it really, a little offensive", added fellow Melbourne resident Nowal Kahsai.

The paper and cartoonist in question could have easily apologized for any offense caused, said it wasn't intended that way and admitted that it went too far, and moved on.

The cartoon shows the 23-time Grand Slam victor with exaggerated facial features, wearing a tutu while jumping on a broken tennis racket.

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

The Washington Post ran a searing post about the cartoon, calling it "racist" and reminiscent of the era of racial segregation in the US. "Some of them very, very amusing". After Serena Williams lost in the final to Naomi Osaka on Saturday, all anyone could talk about was Williams' altercation with umpire Carlos Ramos that led to her being fined $17,000.

While Osaka beat Williams in straight sets (6-2, 6-4), headlines did not focus on the 20-year-old's first ever major win, instead fixating on Williams' hat-trick of code violations.

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

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