Veteran cartoonist Mark Knight has rejected suggestions his depiction of Serena Williams is "racist", saying those condemning him are "making stuff up".
The cartoon, published in the Herald Sun, was Knight's take on the controversial US Open final, which Williams lost to Japan's Naomi Osaka after being given three penalty points — one for coaching, one for breaking her racquet and another for verbal abuse of the chair umpire.
Williams' behaviour has divided onlookers, with some saying she was out of line and others believing she was the victim of overzealous or discriminatory officiating.
Knight's cartoon shows Williams stamping on her racquet with a dummy on the ground and the umpire telling Osaka, "Can you just let her win?".
Some have defended the cartoon on Twitter, while others say it draws on racist tropes of African‑Americans.
Knight said his cartoon was only about Williams' behaviour on the court and said those suggesting it was racist or sexist were misinterpreting it. He said that he saw the world number one tennis player have a huge hissy fit and spit the dummy. Knight said that's what the cartoon was about, her poor behaviour on the court.
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