Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Tennis umpires reportedly mulling boycotting Serena Williams matches after US Open flap

Artist Blasted for Racist Depiction of Serena Williams at U.S. Open Are there different standards for men and women in tennis? The USTA head says "yes"
Chelsea Rogers | 15 September, 2018, 15:18

Cartoonist Mark Knight put together a cartoon depicting Serena Williams acting like a child at the U.S. Open for Australia's Herald Sun.

Herald Sun editor Mark Johnston tweeted that Knight has the "full support" of the paper.

As soon as we saw that Herald Sun cartoon of Serena Williams wildly jumping in the air throwing a tantrum as an inaccurately white and blonde Naomi Osaka spoke calmly with the umpire, the black community knew what was up.

Some also believed the cartoon "whitewashed" U.S. Open victor Naomi Osaka, who is mixed race, by depicting her as a blond, white woman.

For its Wednesday edition, the Herald Sun filled its front page with cartoons, including the contentious Williams image, along with likenesses of United States president Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Knight, who has a reputation for controversial cartoons, was pilloried from far and wide, including by a member of the US Congress and a large portion of the 22 000 people who commented on his Twitter post showing the drawing.

Cartoonist Knight defended his drawing - as did the editor of the newspaper - saying it was nothing to do with race, rather Williams' "poor behaviour" at the match.

Knight's tweet of his cartoon has been liked almost 4,000 times, while approximately 4,200 people have commented on it.

Djokovic equals Sampras Slam record with third US Open win
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates with his wife Jelena Djokovic after winning his men's Singles finals match. It was also just the latest Slam for the "Big 3" of men's tennis - Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.

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.

On Tuesday the Melbourne publication published the cartoon, which was condemned by many around the world as racist. He had given her a warning for coaching, then a point penalty for smashing her racket and, after she repeatedly expressed frustration, including calling him a "thief", Ramos levied the game penalty for verbal abuse. The artist has strongly refuted such claims by saying that it has nothing to do with race, whereas Tweet floods in support of Williams, who was being victimized and portrayed in the cartoon by provoking racism.

'Ramos is tough, one of the best umpires in the world, he did what he had to do in that match, because she overstepped the limit. And what that means is you can't criticise minority groups for poor behaviour.

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

But critics, most notably online, labelled the cartoon racist because it depicted Williams with big fat lips and masculine features.

Adams said both Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos could have handled things a little bit differently.

On Sunday, Williams was fined $17,000 for three code violations during her loss to Osaka.

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