Mark Knight is a cartoonist for an Australian Newspaper. He drew a Serena Williams cartoon depicting her as having a “hissy fit” in response to her behavior at the U.S. open. The umpire, Carlos Ramos, penalized Serena Williams for on-court coaching, racket abuse and verbal abuse for calling him a “liar” and “a thief”. This added up to a game penalty. There are many who call the Serena Williams cartoon racist. Serena Williams was depicted in the traditional black stereotype and Osaka, her 20 year old Japanese competitor, as a blonde opponent.
Knight’s response to the Serena Williams cartoon reaction:
In an interview about the Serena Williams cartoon, Mark Knight defended his caricature of Serena Williams stating that he thought to himself after drawing the Serena Williams cartoon, “that’s not bad” and submitted it for press. He has received threats and his family is worried about the situation that the response the Serena Williams cartoon has caused. Mark stated that he didn’t anticipate this reaction to the Serena Williams cartoon and also that he may reconsider and “pull his punches” in the future.
The Serena Williams cartoon caricature has sparked a lot of reactions. Among them was JK Rowling. She commented to Mark Knight via twitter, calling his caricature by way of a Serena Williams cartoon was both racist and sexist.
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. https://t.co/YOxVMuTXEC
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 10, 2018
Why did she have a fit?
Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena’s coach, stated that he saw that Serena felt that she was being insulted, that she felt like she was treated as a cheater and her integrity was being questioned. Her integrity is the most important thing. Lose of integrity, real or perceived can cause a career to fail and one can lose years of accomplishments.