Philadelphia 76ers rising star Ben Simmons took to Twitter to defend Serena Williams after a political cartoonist made an offensive drawing depicting Williams' outburst in the US Open Final. Williams was given three separate penalties and the third penalty resulted in forfeiture of a game. This was late in the second set and significantly hampered Williams' chance at pulling off the comeback against Naomi Osaka. Here's what the Sixers point-forward tweeted:
Simmons isn't the only one coming out to defend Williams. The cartoonist, Mark Knight, saw the widespread backlash to the cartoon and many are attacking it for the racial implications. This political cartoon only serves to add fuel to the fire. This is receiving backlash from all directions and Simmons is only one of many who took offense to this artist's depiction of the events. Not to mention, it minimizes Osaka and paints her as a secondary character in the Final.
There's no doubt that Serena would probably do things differently if given the chance. She lost her cool at a pivotal moment in the match. The penalties she was given were probably over the top, but Serena definitely instigated with the chair umpire. That being said, the US Open Final isn't the place to issue a game penalty.
Osaka was brilliant throughout the match and definitely deserved to win, but it's unfortunate that her victory is partially overshadowed by the backlash to the chair umpire's conduct. The main story to come out of the Final was the altercation between Serena and the umpire and that's not fair to Osaka.