Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Cartoon of Serena Williams ruled OK

A controversial cartoon depicting tennis player Serena Williams “spitting the dummy” following her US Open loss last September has been backed by the Australian Press Council.

“The council considered that the cartoon uses exaggeration and absurdity to make its point but accepts the publisher’s claim that it does not depict Ms Williams as an ape, rather showing her as ‘spitting the dummy’, a non-racist caricature familiar to most Australian readers,” the council said on Monday.

The cartoon, which sparked worldwide controversy for its alleged bias, racism and stereotyping, depicted the tennis star jumping in the air, with a broken racquet and baby pacifier on the ground.

In the cartoon, by Mark Knight in the Herald Sun, an umpire is shown saying, “Can you just let her win?” to a woman standing on the other side of the net.

It referred to an incident during the tennis grand slam final between Williams and Japan’s Naomi Osaka on September 9.

Williams, who was seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, was given a warning for a coaching violation before incurring a point penalty for smashing her racket.

After accusing the umpire of being “a thief for stealing a point from me”, she was docked a game.

In a statement, the Australian Press Council acknowledged some readers found the cartoon offensive but accepted there was a sufficient public interest in commenting on Williams’ behaviour and sportsmanship during the pivotal match.



Anonymous said...

After accusing the umpire of being “a thief for stealing a point from me”, she was docked a game.

I do not know anything about it, but maybe she was correct.
I think the cartoon is definitely offensive.

Bird of Paradise said...

This sure beats Doonsbury The Boondocks and liberal stuff we miss THE FAR SIDE

Anonymous said...

Her behavior was offensive, the cartoon merely points it out.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Anon 2:10 you don't seem to understand what this site is about - whether the cartoon might offend someone is really not the issue.
The issue is whether it should be allowed to be published, and/or whether the cartoonist should suffer some form of penalty.
Ms Williams may well have been offended by the cartoon - as may others - but the cartoon, as caricature, showed her throwing a tantrum - and many people believed that was an accurate portrayal of her conduct at the time.

As for the factual basis, even if Ms Williams was correct, abusing an umpire, after a prior warning, attracts sanction in pretty much every sport on the planet. As it did here.

Spurwing Plover the fighting shorebird said...

Oh get a life you sniveling little dip-wad and get over it