CLUELESS DOWNUNDER

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Mark Knight apparently has no self-control and has no editor with self-control and he has no executive editor with a rudimentary ability to see the obvious. Justice Potter Stewart famously said about obscenity: “I’ll know it when I see it”. Justice Stewart would see the obscenity and racism in Knight’s cartoon. Knight’s explanation is, in “Australian” rubbish. There are a dozen ways he could have draw the concept of Williams being a big whinny baby. Like, draw her as… a big baby. He could have drawn Osaka in the foreground, her back to the camera , Osaka looking stunned glancing at Williams as a silhouetted figure slamming her racquet with the same talk bubble. All of the racist elements would have been eliminated and I assume he could have avoided drawing Osaka as a beach Barbie. But I suspect Knight’s intention wasn’t to comment about bad behavior; I think this cartoon was all about the international reaction he knew he’d get. And, apparently he has an editor who backs him up. Bottom line – a tabloid got what it wanted – millions of eyes on a garbage cartoon and it sullied my profession. I don’t need to repeat the vast condemnation I’ve seen – it’s well deserved. It includes a 2,000 word article in the New York Times ( with quoted “experts” on cartooning) and experts on race relations. Suffice to say I was shocked and saddened that Knight muddied what I consider an honorable and important art form – editorial sports cartoonist. I think I’m at the top of my craft and I am proud of the work I do and it hurts when I see exploitation for prurient reasons.

Justice Stewart would definitely declare Knight’s cartoon obscene. So does Justice Jimmytoons, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Sports Cartoonist.

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