Serena Williams Cartoon Labeled Racist & Sexist
A cartoonist by the name of Mark Knight published a cartoon clipping in the Hearld Sun of Serena Williams reacting to her loss against Naomi Osaka at the US Open. The cartoon portrays Williams as throwing a temper tantrum following her lost.
— Mark Knight (@Knightcartoons) September 10, 2018
She is seen damaging and stomping on her tennis racket, with exacerbated facial features, and the referee who Williams called out during her match, is seen saying, “Can you just let her win,” to portray Osaka.
As previously, over the weekend Williams made headlines after she was called out for code violations by umpire Carlos Ramos. Ramos accused Williams of cheating after allegedly receiving coaching during her match. She then lost a point for damaging her tennis racket, and eventually was made to forfeit the game after Williams called Ramos a thief, liar, and demanded an apology. Since the publishing of the cartoon, social media has reacted saying that it is falsely portraying Williams and the situation, while also labeling it a form of misygony and sexist.
Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling shared her views on the cartoon on Twitter. Writing,
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.
Journalist Jamil Smith also gave his perspective on the cartoon, deeming it laced with Jim Crow undertones.
This is Jim Crow-racist. He Sambo’d Serena Williams. I’m a bit surprised that @Knightcartoons didn’t include a watermelon. For those unfamiliar with the history invoked here, read about the coon caricature. https://t.co/ffmrk76MRM
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) September 10, 2018
Actress Reagan Gomez weighed in, referring to the image as sexist.
It’s not just about sexism. The other player (not Naomi???) isn’t drawn the way Serena is. You know why. Anyone who tells you this isn’t misogynoir is gaslighting you. Don’t allow them to. https://t.co/IXuNiwGEbZ
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) September 10, 2018
Williams was also served a $17,000 fine. $4,000 for being warned for coaching after her coach made a hand gesture to her, $3,000 for breaking her racket and $10,000 for “verbal abuse”. Williams has yet to respond to the cartoon.