Herald Sun Cartoonist Mark Knight Accused of Racism Over Serena Williams Satire


Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight has been accused of racism and sexism for his cartoon mocking Serena Williams dummy spit in the US Women’s Open final which saw her receive three code violations for abuse and contributed to her loss to Japanese Naomi Osaka.

Williams’ code violations were for receiving a coaching signal from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou which he admitted to after the game. The second one was for racquet abuse for which Williams lashed out at chair umpire Carlos Ramos saying “she has never cheated in her life” and that “she has a daughter and has to stand for what is right for her”. The third code violation occurred after Williams accused Ramos of being a “thief” and then accused him of sexism by punishing her because she “was a woman”, as male players had not been penalized for “far worse”.

Williams reversion to victim politics to explain her loss and the mainstream media indulging the argument she is a victim of sexism is farcical. Serena Williams is one of the most successful tennis players male or female in the history of the game, she has won 23 Grand Slam titles and is only one behind breaking Margaret Court’s record. If there was a sexist or even racist conspiracy against her why has it taken this long for it to be implemented?

Given that Williams’ dummy spit has been a major international news story Mark Knight thought it would be funny to depict an exaggerated caricature of Williams as he does with all public figures. It has Williams destroying her racquet jumping up and down crying with the chair umpire saying to Osaka ‘can you just let her win?’

But because Knight’s cartoon was mocking a black women he was labeled a racist with the outrage brigade being led by Harry Potter author J.K Rowling.

The story about an Australian newspaper’s racist cartoon has be reported by various international news outlets including CBS News and the Hill. Many of the stories believe that Knight drew Osaka as a white woman but he was only accurately drawing Osaka’s dyed blonde hair.

Mark Knight sought to defend himself from accusations of sexism by tweeting a cartoon he drew satirizing Australian male tennis player Nick Kyrgios’ bad behaviour. But given that Kyrgios is also a person of colour he failed to defend himself from accusations of racism.

It is not the first time a Mark Knight cartoon has been accused of racism. When News Corp’s Sky News was removed from Melbourne’s Metro trains for spreading bigotry and hate by state Transport Minister Jacinta Allan Knight mocked her for thinking that a news channel was a threat to public safety while ignoring African youths rioting behind her.


Herald Sun Editor Damon Johnston is standing by his cartoonist stating “A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark’s cartoon depicted that. It had nothing to do with gender or race”. The Executive Chairman of News Corp Australia owner of the Herald Sun also tweeted his support.

Mark Knight appeared on Neil Mitchell’s 3AW program this morning to further explain “It’s a cartoon about poor behaviour” and “It’s nothing to do with race”. Knight expressed shock that his cartoon has been labelled racist “The world’s gone crazy” and how he was struggling to heard over all the outrage “I’ve tried to reply to these people but they don’t listen.”

One can only conclude from this international outrage that a cartoonist now must never draw a person of color as it is a racist caricature, even if they are a deserving target of satire. Another point to make is that the alleged champions of the oppressed are defending a privileged tennis player in another sign of the warped priorities in seeing everything through race and identity politics.

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