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Newspaper reprints controversial cartoon of Serena Williams

AP  |  Melbourne 

A controversial cartoon of Williams that has been widely condemned as a racist depiction of the great has been partially reprinted on the front page of the Melbourne-based newspaper that initially published it.

Sun newspaper printed an edited portion of the cartoon featuring 23-time winner Williams jumping on a broken during her dispute with a umpire in the final among caricatures of other famous people Wednesday under the headline "Welcome to "

The newspaper has defended its Michael Knight's depiction of Williams and is asserting the condemnation, which has come from all parts of the world, is driven by political correctness.

"If the self-appointed censors of get their way on his Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed," the paper printed on its front page.

Williams has won singles title seven times at Park, including 2017 when she was pregnant. She is a crowd favorite at the first of the year, which is held each January at a venue that is within sight of the

In comments published by Corp., Knight said that he created the cartoon after watching Williams' "tantrum" during her final loss to on Saturday and that it was designed to illustrate "her poor behavior on the day, not about race."

Knight reportedly has disabled his account after his post of the cartoon attracted tens of thousands of comments, mostly critical.

During the final against Osaka, Williams got a warning from the umpire for violating a rarely enforced rule against receiving coaching from the sidelines.

An indignant Williams emphatically defended herself, denying she had cheated. A short time later, she smashed her in frustration and was docked a point. She protested and demanded an apology from the umpire, who penalized her a game.

Critics of Knight's cartoon described it as a clear example of a stereotype facing black women, depicting Williams as an irate, hulking, big-mouthed black woman jumping up and down on a broken

The umpire was shown telling a blond, slender woman meant to be Osaka, who is Japanese and Haitian "Can you just let her win?" "I was deeply offended. This is not a joke," said Vanessa K De Luca, former of Essence magazine, who wrote a column about the furore.

The "completely missed the point of why she was upset," De Luca told "It was about her integrity, and anybody who doesn't get that is perpetuating the erasure that so many black women feel when they are trying to speak up for themselves. It's like our opinions don't matter."

In a social media post, Peter Blunden, of Corp's operations in the state of Victoria, said: "Australia's finest has the strongest support of his colleagues for his depiction of Williams' petulance. It's about bad behaviour, certainly not race. The PC brigade are way off the mark ... again.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 12 2018. 13:20 IST