JK Rowling, others blast 'racist, sexist' Serena Williams newspaper cartoon

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Cartoonist Mark Knight put together a cartoon depicting Serena Williams acting like a child at the U.S. Open for Australia's Herald Sun.

"Mark has the full support of everyone", echoed Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston.

The Herald Sun newspaper printed an edited portion of the cartoon - featuring 23-time Grand Slam victor Williams jumping on a broken racket during her dispute with a chair umpire in the U.S. Open final - among caricatures of other famous people Wednesday under the headline "Welcome to the PC World".

The cartoon also shows Naomi Osaka, a dark-skinned Japanese woman, as a white blonde.

Despite the outrage, the paper reprinted the cartoon alongside unflattering caricatures of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attempting to portray the controversy as an effort to curtail free speech.

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The Herald Sun reported on Tuesday that Knight had been mentioned on Twitter almost 74,000 times following the cartoon's publication.

In response, The Herald Sun's editorial cartoonist Mark Knight lampooned Williams in his latest piece.

"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", said J.K. Rowling.

Williams was thwarted in her bid for a record-tying 24th Slam singles crown in losing to Japan's Naomi Osaka. He had given her a warning for coaching, then a point penalty for smashing her racket and, after she repeatedly expressed frustration, including calling him a "thief", Ramos levied the game penalty for verbal abuse.

The same day world No.25 Barbora Strycova lambasted Williams' claims of sexism and offered her own suggestion for the tennis legend's display.

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An Australian newspaper accused of racism for a cartoon that mocked tennis star Serena Williams is defending the artist, releasing a Wednesday cover that reads "Welcome to the PC World". Poor behaviour in any sport needs to be called out, ' Mr Miller wrote on Twitter.

"I'm genuinely embarrassed for you", Julie Stoddart said in a tweet, while Ken McAlpine tweeted: "Poor little newspaper needs a hug".

Some Twitter users, however, contested that the image was not racist. Viewers could not have guessed that she won by looking at her crestfallen, teary-eyed expression throughout the immediate aftermath of the match.

Knight's cartoon was criticised after some audiences perceived racist undertones in the exaggerated features present in his depiction of Williams. Williams protested that and demanded an apology from the umpire, who penalised her a game.

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