A cartoon of Serena Williams that has been widely condemned as a racist depiction of the tennis great has been partially reprinted on the front page of the Melbourne-based newspaper that initially published it.
The Herald Sun newspaper printed an edited portion of the cartoon -- featuring 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams jumping on a broken racket during her dispute with a chair umpire in the U.S. Open final -- among caricatures of other famous people Wednesday under the headline "Welcome to the PC World."
The newspaper, which has Australia's largest circulation, has defended its cartoonist Mark Knight's depiction of Williams and is asserting that the condemnation, which has come from around the world, is driven by political correctness.
"If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed," the paper said on its front page.
In comments published by News Corp., Knight said he created the cartoon after watching Williams' "tantrum" during her U.S. Open final loss to Naomi Osaka on Saturday and that it was designed to illustrate "her poor behavior on the day, not about race."
Knight reportedly has disabled his Twitter account after his post of the cartoon attracted tens of thousands of comments, mostly critical.
During the final against Osaka, Williams got a warning from the chair umpire for violating a rarely enforced rule against receiving coaching from the sidelines. An indignant Williams emphatically defended herself, denying she had cheated. A short time later, she smashed her racket in frustration and was docked a point. She protested and demanded an apology from the umpire, who penalized her a game.
Critics of Knight's cartoon described it as a clear example of a stereotype facing black women, depicting Williams as an irate, hulking, big-mouthed black woman jumping up and down on a broken racket. The umpire was shown telling a blonde, slender woman -- meant to be Osaka, who is Japanese and Haitian -- "Can you just let her win?"
A ban on a ban
The mayor of Kenner, La., -- a New Orleans suburb -- says he's rescinding his order banning his city's recreation department from purchasing Nike products for use at city recreation facilities.
Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn said at a news conference Wednesday that he did so on the advice of the city attorney and because the order had divided the city. Last week's order from Zahn came days after the athletic apparel maker began using former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. Kaepernick ignited a firestorm in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice.
Zahn's order had drawn strong criticism in and outside the city. Louisiana's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union had called for him to rescind it earlier Wednesday.
How many times has Serena Williams won the Australian Open?
Sports on 09/13/2018
Print Headline: Paper defends controversial Serena cartoon