Double Standards For Serena


Serena Williams got into a tiff with the referee during the championship finals of the U.S. Open. She was ultimately fined $17,000 for calling the ref a “thief.” What has been pointed out is that men have a history of arguing with referees, and insulting them with words much worse than “thief,” and rarely if ever being punished in any way. Hell, John McEnroe has built a career off his reputation of fighting with referees.

Early this afternoon, I received an email from a reporter at the New York Observer wanting my thoughts for an article he was writing about a cartoon on the subject. I hadn’t seen the cartoon, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this guy’s work before. But, when I saw it, I said, “oh my god lord and Jesus, that’s some racist-ass shit.”

While the cartoonist makes a point that’s fair and you can agree, disagree, and argue your brains out over it, his message was lost with the caricature. He made Williams look sort of like a subhuman gorilla baby thing while making her opponent a white blonde woman, despite the fact, Naomi Osaka is of Japanese and Haitian descent.

There’s more to say on this issue, but this is a bonus cartoon for you today because there’s another issue I want to draw on tonight. This blog is short because I have things to do and there’s a hurricane coming, but you can argue it out in the comments.

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  1. “there’s a hurricane coming”

    Living in Maryland, I am no expert on Virginia geography, but I have the impression that you are far enough inland to not worry about storm surge, but maybe you live in a flood plain, or on a hillside prone to mudslides.


  2. Knight’s caricature of Williams is almost certainly racist, but I would note that he uses nearly the same skin tone for both her and Osaka. Osaka, however, doesn’t wear her hair that long, and giving her more ponytail does make her look whiter.
    We did watch the match at our house, and the escalation from the first penalty to the third was surprisingly sharp. This specific judge has let pass verbal abuse from male players, so either he was having an unusually bad day, or he had some predisposition to be stricter with Serena.

    Liked by 1 person

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