Serena Williams 'Angry Black Woman' Cartoon Sparks A New Debate On Racism And Stereotypes

Date September 11, 2018

20-year-old Naomi Osaka beat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 in, perhaps, the most dramatic U.S. Open finale ever. Williams, who was making a comeback to the game after her delivery, got slammed with penalties for three game code violations.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osakagettyimages

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Williams demanded an apology from umpire Carlos Ramos, who accused her of cheating, and would not back down. This came shortly after she smashed her racket on the court.

You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and I stand for what's right for her. I've never cheated, and you owe me an apology. You will never do another one of my matches.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osakagettyimages

Is racism still an issue in the game?

Australian cartoonist Mark Knight shared this image on his Twitter. It showed a very angry Williams stomping on her racket, while the game umpire (presumably, Ramos) asked Osaka (with blonde hair): “Can you just let her win?”

While the cartoon may be an amusing take on the incident, many commentators have called out Knight, saying that the image was propagating racist stereotypes. Several people pointed out Williams' 'kinky' hair, while Osaka was portrayed with blonde hair.

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Also, people noted how Knight portrayed Williams as muscular and almost manly, while Osaka was shown as svelte and slim, much like a stereotypical Caucasian woman.

The arguments continue to rage on social media, and some commentators find ways to politicize the issue. Many blame Williams for the unpleasant reactions Osaka got from the crowd after her win. In all, Williams maintains that her issue with the game was not the loss, but what she insists is unfair treatment by the umpire.

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Serena Williams Racism Art