Racist Cartoon of Serena Williams Proves Her Fight Is Not Over Yet
Serena Williams has captured the headlines for a major part of this season. Previously the tennis champion became news for her courageous acts in the face of growing sexism and racism in sports. But this time, she’s back into the newspapers with an Australian cartoonist making a nasty editorial cartoon of her.
Previously, Serena Williams has been very outspoken on the blatant racism and sexism in sports. When the champion returned after her maternity leave for the first time, she decided to appear in a black catsuit fashioned by Nike. But the French Open banned it saying it was inappropriate. And as a reaction to this racism, she clapped back by wearing a tutu next time. Jamie Murray didn’t even take her side on the matter. Only as this matter was dying out of attention, Serena Williams faced sexism in the US Open finale. But she decided to call out the umpire for it, and continues to speak out for women and equal rights. However, with this racist cartoon out, it seems like she has a long way to go before she battles it successfully.
‘Herald Sun’ Publishes Racist Cartoon Of Serena Williams
Australian newspaper Herald Sun published a cartoon depicting Serena Williams and the entire US Open Final’s controversy. Apparently, it’s a picture of a player who is squat, muscular, with a big-lipped face that looks like it’s coming straight out of Little Black Sambo cartoons. And the player is stomping on her racket as a tennis official asks her to let her opponent- a slim, blonde player win. Speculations believe the opponent to be Naomi Osaka who won the women’s singles on the weekend. But ever since the cartoon came out, a huge cry broke all over the internet. People labelled it as disgustingly racist, asking the media company to issue an apology for it. And there are barely any arguments to defend Herald Sun in this.
Amidst major backlash from the public, cartoonist Mark Knight insisted that his idea was not racist. As a response to the public resentment, Herald Sun issued a statement saying that the hate the racist cartoon received was unfair. In fact, it simply showed her reaction of the US finals instead of racism or sexism. The cartoonist said he drew it as a reaction to the tantrum Serena Williams threw after her defeat. And that it’s not about race and the world has gone crazy. But it’s more about how poorly she behaved that day.
Although, one possible explanation was that Mark Knight never intended to make a racist cartoon. And he was just highlighting that Serena Williams behaved less professionally than he expected a professional player to do so. But even then, what makes little sense if that the player is the racist cartoons looks nothing like Serena Williams. Instead, what’s supposed to be a caricature of the player is merely a caricature of over-the-top black features.