Tim Clayton - Corbis/Getty Images

The Herald Sun put Mark Knight's drawing on the front page after it was released Monday. 

By Charlotte Carroll
September 11, 2018

An Australian newspaper doubled down on its decision to run a cartoon of Serena Williams that has been called racist and sexist.

The cartoon shows Williams jumping on a broken racket with a baby pacifier. It was originally published on the Monday after Saturday's U.S. Open final, when Williams was docked a point and then a full game for code violations. The chair umpire gave Williams a game penalty—the punishment for a third code violation— for verbal abuse after she called him a "thief" and a "liar." The argument stemmed from an earlier incident in which the chair umpire ruled Williams had received coaching during the match, resulting in an official warning. 

The Herald Sun put Mark Knight's drawing on its front page on Tuesday, along with other caricatures and the headline "Welcome to the PC World." The subhead read, "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 original cartoon also depicts U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka, who is Japanese and Haitian, as a white woman with blonde hair.

The cartoon was criticized for using racist and sexist tropes. It received intense backlash on social media, including from author J.K. Rowling.

"I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world’s best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting," Knight said in response to the backlash, according to the Herald Sun.

"The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behavior on the day, not about race. The world has just gone crazy."

Knight's Twitter account appears to no longer be active.

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