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J.K Rowling Condemns 'Deeply Racist And Sexist' Cartoon Of Serena Williams

Mark Cunliffe

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J.K Rowling Condemns 'Deeply Racist And Sexist' Cartoon Of Serena Williams

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

J.K Rowling has condemned a 'deeply racist and sexist' cartoon of Serena Williams, published in an Australian newspaper.

The cartoon was drawn by Mark Knight, editorial cartoonist for the Herald Sun newspaper and shows the sportswoman stomping on her racket.

However, some people claim it looks like a Jim Crow-era, Sambo-style caricature of a black person and not Serena Williams.


Her opponent Naomi Osaka, was also depicted as a blonde white woman despite being of of Japanese and Haitian heritage

The cartoon was posted on Twitter by cartoonist Mark Knight but athletes and celebrities were quick to condemn the cartoon and accused Knight of creating something 'sexist' and 'racist'.

Author J.K Rowling wrote: "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.


ESPN's Jemele Hill noted the racism is "About as subtle as Fran Drescher's voice."

Another user added: "In 100 years' time, this cartoon will be viewed no differently than old images of Jim Crow, or the newspaper cartoons drawn of Jack Johnson. Mark Knight has just drawn his way into the history books."

Serena was fined $17,000 for three separate violations during the US Open final on Saturday.

The first violation was for coaching, which Williams argued against. "I don't cheat to win. I'd rather lose," she said.


Serena was then given another violation for smashing her racket, costing her a point.

She then demanded an apology from the umpire, Carlos Ramos. Speaking to the referee to protest Ramos' call, she argued that male players aren't punished for similar, or worse, actions. "Because I'm a woman, you're going to take this away from me?" she said.

Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou admitted to coaching after the match, but he didn't think Serena was paying attention to him.


Osaka received her trophy to a chorus of boos from the crowd, and Williams was clearly upset during the press conference after the match, saying she felt that she was only penalised because she was a woman.


Serena said: "I'm here fighting for women's rights and women's equality. And for me to say 'thief' and for him to take a game, made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He's never taken a game from a man, because he said thief. For me, it blew my mind."

Male tennis professionals later admitted that Serena's penalty was sexist and that they have said worse on the court.


James Blake said: "I will admit I have said worse and not gotten penalized. And I've also been given a 'soft warning' by the ump where they tell you knock it off or I will have to give you a violation. He should have at least given her that courtesy. Sad to mar a well played final that way[sic]."

Andy Roddick also added: "I've regrettably said worse and I've never gotten a game penalty."

Topics: Life News, Celebrity News

Mark Cunliffe
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