Jesse Jackson Calls Racist Serena Williams Cartoon ‘Despicable’

The  Herald  Sun  editor  Damon  Johnston  stands by the cartoon, meanwhile the National Association of Black Journalists slams it.

By Sheryl Estrada

In response to massive criticism from across the globe regarding the cartoon, Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston is backing editorial cartoonist Mark Knight.

Johnston said in a statement on Tuesday: “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.”

But the U.S.-based National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) disagrees with the Herald Sun, and calls the cartoon “Sambo-like.”

“The Sept. 10 cartoon not only exudes racist, sexist caricatures of both women, but Williams’ depiction is unnecessarily Sambo-like.” NABJ said in a statement. “The art of editorial cartooning is a visual dialogue on the issues of the day, yet this cartoon grossly and inaccurately depicts two women of color at the US Open, one of the grandest stages of professional sports.”


Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is firing back at a newspaper cartoonist for a racist depiction of Serena Williams, which perpetuates stereotypes about Black women.

At the US Open women’s single final on Saturday, Williams confronted umpire Carlos Ramos over allegations that she had received coaching during the match.

The confrontation resulted in Williams being penalized a point and even a game. She was ultimately defeated by Naomi Osaka.

Editorial cartoonist Mark Knight of the Herald Sun, an Australian newspaper, created an illustration mocking Williams. How her facial features are drawn, including large, exaggerated lips and nose, mimics past racist portrayals of Black women during the Jim Crow era.

She is jumping up and down on her racket, while her opponent asks the chair umpire: “Can you just let her win?” Osaka, who is of Haitian and Japanese descent, is depicted as a skinny blonde woman.

Rev. Jackson, who continually defends Black athletes in the midst of criticism for taking a knee against police brutality, took to Twitter to slam Knight’s cartoon.

He tweeted Monday afternoon:

Rev Jesse Jackson Sr


This despicable cartoon tried and failed to diminish the greatness & grace of @serenawilliams. Racism in any form is unacceptable. Push On @serenawilliams! #KeepHopeAlive!

11:30 AM – Sep 10, 2018

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