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US Open outburst: Umpires to boycott Serena's matches

15 September, 2018, 15:20 | Author: Drew Briggs
  • Serena Williams had a massive fallout with the chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the US Open 2018 Final

According to Australian newspaper The Herald Sun and its cartoonist, Mark Knight, a cartoon of Serena Williams that echoes the harmful caricatures of black men and women once drawn in a shameful part of U.S. history isn't racist.

The cartoon has been widely criticised as "racist".

"If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very boring indeed", the paper said on its front page.

The paper's editor had previously tweeted his support for the cartoonist, while the artist himself said "the world has just gone insane".

However, the tennis champion's husband, Alexis Ohanian has broken his silence to slam Mark Knight's drawing as "blatantly racist and misogynistic".

"The enlarged facial features and the position of a dummy in the cartoon draws on pernicious stereotypes of African Americans as angry, childlike and in need of restraint by white masters", says Dr Kate Dossett, associate professor of U.S. history at the University of Leeds.

Cartoonist Paul Zanetti said he was stunned by the backlash Knight received.

Knight has defended the cartoon in a statement given to Herald Sun's website.

The cartoonist denied it was racist, saying he had meant to depict only the tennis player's "poor behaviour".

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"I don't believe it's a good idea to apply a standard of, 'If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too",' she said.

At the US Open, Umpire Carlos Ramos warned Williams for receiving coaching from the sidelines before docking her a point for smashing her racket.

Many tennis fans and players are still debating whether sexism played a role in the penalty given to Serena Williams in her confrontation with an umpire during the U.S. Open final. "It had nothing to do with gender or race". Williams was docked a game Saturday and went on to lose the championship to Japan's Naomi Osaka.

One astute Twitter user would point out that Osaka wears a blonde ponytail.

Osaka is 20 years old and also won the Indian Wells event in March this year, making her one of the top draws in the women's game.

'In comparison, I never saw (Rafael) Nadal shouting like that with an umpire, ' she said.

Many labelled the cartoon "racist" and "sexist." accusing Knight of using derogatory imagery of African American people.

US Open champion and Serena Williams conqueror Naomi Osaka is reportedly set to sign the biggest-ever deal for a female tennis player with Adidas, that could see her rival Williams as the world's highest-paid sportswoman.

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