Australian newspaper insists controversial Serena Williams cartoon is not racist

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Osaka had just won her first Grand Slam title after defeating the 23-time major victor Serena Williams at the U.S. Open on Saturday.

"If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very tiresome indeed", the paper wrote in an editorial on its front page.

In the match, the umpire, Carlos Santos, issued code violations because Williams broke her racket and because her coach made a coaching gesture during play. Osaka also named Williams as one of her idols and understandably was very happy to have the 23-time Grand Slam champion's blessing despite the controversial outcome.

"I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world's best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting", he said.

Following the match Williams cited sexism as the reason for her punishment, claiming that she had been treated more harshly than a man would have been.

Alexis Ohanian Sr, 35, claimed the cartoon, drawn by Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight, was both "racist" and "misogynistic" in a Twitter post on Thursday.

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He said: "Now I'm in this f***in" weird thing, because I'm like, "I gotta answer this motherf***er'". He adds, "Oh, and I'm just playin', Diddy". "It never hit my radar".

Other US media pointed out that Osaka was portrayed as petite and feminine with blonde straight hair - in real life she has dark curly hair with blonde streaks and is taller than Williams.

Speaking on Wednesday, Osaka said she was unsure just why the crowd were booing at the time, but Williams had some kind words for the champion.

"I think for this year my immediate goal would be to get to Singapore", said Osaka after putting herself firmly in contention to reach the season-ending WTA Finals.

The cartoonist said on Tuesday that "the world has just gone crazy", telling the Australian Broadcasting Corporation it "was just about Serena on the day having a tantrum". When Williams called him a thief and demanded an apology, he docked her a game, a shocking penalty in the final of a Grand Slam event. "If it's like this, let me know". Ramos then penalised her a game.

"Growing up, my dad drove a Nissan, so being able to be a brand ambassador now, it feels like I've come full circle", she said Thursday, speaking mostly in English at the vehicle company's headquarters in Yokohama, according to Reuters.

"If the cartoon was purely about bad behaviour I don't see why she had to be depicted the way she was". I don't believe it's a good idea to apply a standard of, "If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too".

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