In Mark Knight's cartoon, the umpire is shown telling a blonde, slender woman - meant to be Osaka, who is actually Japanese and Haitian - "Can you just let her win?".
It was business as usual until the second set when, per CBS Sports, "Williams was given a warning from Ramos after the umpire determined her coach was attempting to instruct her using hand signals, which results in code violation". He also penalized her for smashing her racket.
Williams' behaviour divided onlookers, with some saying she was out of line and others believing she was the victim of overzealous or discriminatory officiating. Was it a sign of inequality because a top men's player would never receive such a stern penalty? "For me to say "thief", and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark", she said, arguing that male athletes can and have said worse without receiving penalties. I'd also stand by the claim that the best cartoons help us see something with clarity or make connections that crystallise a complex issue, making it immediately readable.
"I think these days, I don't think you can, it's called punching down", he said.
"Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis". Williams, clearly unhappy with the ruling, went on to berate Ramos for his judgment, repeatedly demanding that he apologize for branding her a cheater.
Williams was fined $17,000 in total.
Knight's social media accounts, meanwhile, have disappeared.
"In her straight sets loss to Naomi Osaka, Williams was simply outplayed and lost her temper in a big and ill-disciplined blow-up".
But Knight, a veteran artist, defended his illustration - denying it was sexist or racist, saying the worldwide storm that ensued was a "world gone crazy".
Even former director of the United States Officer of Government Ethics got in on the act.
The Herald Sun has leapt to the defence of Mark Knight after his illustration was slammed by many as "racist".
In reiterating his defence that he was simply trying to depict the tennis superstar's tantrum, Knight said it's unfair to label his work racist.
The Herald Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (nws), provoked outrage Tuesday with a cartoon of Williams at the U.S. Open because it portrayed Williams in a style that evoked the 19th-century 'sambo' style of depicting African Americans.
Cartoonist Paul Zanetti said that cartoons are under threat from political correctness.