After the scandal at the tennis tournament, the accent quickly shifted from Serena’s behavior to one joke about her.
September 9, the final of the US Open Tennis Championship (US Open) took place, in which the famous athlete Serena Williams unexpectedly lost to the 19-year-old Japanese woman Naomi Osaka. Osaka became the youngest winner of the tournament in history after Maria Sharapova, but her triumph was quickly forgotten because of the scandal.
At first, Williams argued the whole game with a judge and called him a sexist. The behavior of the tennis player in his work was displayed by cartoonist of the Australian edition of the Herald Sun Mark Knight: he showed her a child in hysterics. For this the media and celebrities have been accusing him of racism for several days, and in the Herald Sun they stood up for the protection of the employee.
The caricature was a response to Serena’s behavior
During the US Open, Serena Williams repeatedly argued with Portuguese judge Carlos Ramos, who worked at other major tournaments like Wimbledon and the 2016 Olympic Games. After several warnings and penalties for violating the rules, the athlete accused the judge of trying to spoil her pure reputation, and later – in sexism.
A few moments from the final between Williams and Osaka.
- In the first set, Carlos Ramos issued a warning to the Williams team for the coach’s prompt. Headquarters of the American tennis player after the match admitted that he helped her, but drew attention to similar actions from the coaches of Osaka;
- After the playing moment Serena on emotions broke the racket on the court. The judge issued a second warning and withdrew one point from the athlete. Williams in response demanded an apology from the referee;
- The tennis player continued to argue with the judge and said to him: “You will never again ever step onto the court where I will be. You are a liar. And you must apologize to me. Must apologize to me. I demand. I demand that you apologize. You stole a point from me. You are also a thief. ” After that, she was fined for the game for insults;
- On the court appeared other representatives of the judging panel. Williams told them that Carlos Ramos is a sexist: “Fully men say much more terrible things, but I am a woman, so you will deprive me of this? This is so unfair. You know that. I understand that you can not admit it, but you know that it is impossible. “
After the end of the game, Ramos was immediately taken from the court, although he had to receive a commemorative token on the reward, and Williams reiterated that the judge would not punish a man for such actions. At the same time, the Portuguese has repeatedly judged the game of male tennis stars like Rafael Nadal, and also warned them. For behavior on court, Williams was fined 17 thousand dollars.
On September 10, a caricature of Mark Knight appeared in the Herald Sun, ridiculing Serena’s behavior on the court. In the picture, he painted a tennis player jumping on his racket, while the judge asks Osaka: “Maybe you just let her win?”. Next to Williams is the baby’s nipple.
The media saw in the figure hints of caricatures early 20 th century
Initially, the media discussed the final from the standpoint of “double standards”: some publications supported the position of Williams that women’s tennis is punished for showing emotions, while the man gets away with it. But after the publication of the cartoon, the attention of journalists turned to the manifestation of “sexism” on the part of Knight.
Journalists compared the artist’s work with drawings of the 19-20 centuries, where black people were specially portrayed grotesquely to laugh at them because of their race. Also, Knight was accused of using stereotypes about the “black evil woman” in relation to the famous American athlete. Media accusations were joined by Joan Rowlin, rap singer Nicky Minage and Australian basketball player Ben Simmons.
The whole world woke up and began to struggle with what we in Australia, apparently, have become unresponsive: another nasty, racist caricature based on the reproduction of “bestial nature.” And we again look at her in horror, before turning away in disgust. […]
Knight claims that his caricature is not racism, although countless people, including black women, argue the opposite. The author accuses Serena of hysteria and loss of self-control on the court. But this is a kind of white innocence in which racist thinking sees black women mostly irrational and hysterical. And thus on the Internet today there is a heap of “white arbitrators”, asserting, that all this is not racism.
Knight’s drawing is reminiscent of a long tradition of condemning “black society” through cartoons. It not only includes basic ideas about black women, but also reproduces such topics as “black grotesque” and the image of a white woman as a victim. His choice to paint Naomi Osaka as a white blonde reminded me of another caricature – this one is from 1910.
I do not think that Mark Knight sat down to work with a feeling of fierce hatred for Serena Williams. No, I sincerely believe that this is how he imagines a tennis player – an awkward, aggressive monkey that rages before the eyes of the whole world. And this is racism, and even sexism, because men in tennis are always aggressive, but do not face such a reaction. […]
It is significant that Knight showed Osaka as a blonde with the same light skin color as a judge. Deliberately or not, but there is an opposition: Naomi as a quiet protagonist, confronting with the noble arbiter of the hippopotamus Serene.
Again, so the author interpreted what he saw on the court. Because Mark Knight is a racist.
Cartoonist had to leave Twitter because of criticism
A few days after the scandal began, Knight said that he did not consider his work as racist. He said he just wanted to ridicule Williams’ “unacceptable behavior” on the court, not her race or sex. The cartoonist recalled that a few days earlier he had published another drawing where local tennis player Nika Kiryos was being led from the court to his ear as a child.
Caricature with Serena picked up American users of social networks, and my phone began to melt from notifications. World has gone mad. I tried to explain everything to these people, but they did not listen to me.
Later, Knight deleted his account on Twitter due to constant criticism from users who accused him of racism.
Herald Sun again published a picture and opposed censorship
On September 11th, the Herald Sun editorial board stood up for its employee, publishing a story entitled “Caricature of Mark Knight rightly ridicules the hysteria of Serena Williams during the US Open finals.” Employees of the publication pointed out that the artist in his works constantly criticized celebrities, including US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Mark Turnbull. And in the drawings, Knight did not make a discount on the floor or skin color.
Criticism of the cartoon in the Herald Sun was called censorship, threatening satire.
Take a breath and look at the facts.
Serena was warned, and then punished by the referee Carlos Ramos during the final. Tips coach, a broken racket and abuse of communication with the judge. During the game, Williams lost her composure, which resulted in a giant emotional explosion. And Knight ridiculed her for this act.
Because of the behavior of Serena Naomi Osaka in tears was the first in the history of Japan champion of single tournaments of the Grand Slam. But Knight’s critics focused not on this, but on their mistaken accusations of racism and sexism. […] A number of poorly informed people, from Joanne Rowling to Nicky Minage, pointed out that Osaka was portrayed as a blonde. But she was portrayed with a light “tail”, because in real life she walks with a light “tail”.
Mark Knight’s accusations of racism because of the drawing of Serena Williams is an attempt to defeat satire and cartoons with a barrier of political correctness.
On September 12, a cartoon with Serena Williams reappeared in the Herald Sun – this time on the cover of the newspaper. On it, the editorial board also arranged other drawings that ridiculed celebrities, and next – signed reasons for which they could be criticized. “If people who have appointed themselves censors will achieve their goal, our new politically correct life will be extremely boring,” the journalists added.
— damon johnston (@damonheraldsun) 11 September 2018