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This is not good. 

A newspaper in Australia is catching A LOT of heat over a cartoon that was trying to spoof Serena Williams' incident at the U.S. Open -- because it's racist as hell. 

The cartoon -- drawn by Mark Knight (editorial cartoonist for the Herald Sun newspaper) -- shows the tennis superstar stomping on her racket. 

But, let's get serious, it looks like a Jim Crow-era, Sambo-style caricature of a black person -- not Serena Williams. 

The cartoon has been blasted by athletes and celebs including J.K. Rowling who said, "Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop."

ESPN's Jemele Hill noted the racism is "About as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice."

So far, it doesn't seem like the Herald Sun is backing down -- they retweeted the image and haven't pulled it. 

At least, not yet.

As we reported ... Serena was penalized several times during Saturday's U.S. Open finals match against Naomi Osaka. Serena went off on the judge claiming he was a "thief" who stole a point from her. 

The judge then penalized Serena a game for the "verbal abuse." Williams continued to go off on the guy to other tournament officials claiming the judge would never treat a man that way. 

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Knight, the editorial cartoonist, pushed back against the criticism he received, saying that his illustration was intended to portray Williams's behavior. 

Neither Knight nor the Herald Sun were immediately reachable by The Hill.

To support his argument, Knight posted a cartoon he drew of tennis player Nick Kyrgios, showing an umpire giving "a sulky Nick Kyrgios a pep talk during the U.S. Open" and next to it a female umpire grabbing Kyrgios by the ear under the caption, "What should have happened." 

“Don’t bring gender into it when it’s all about behavior,” Knight tweeted.

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Williams accused the umpire of sexism for penalizing her on multiple occasions, saying that she's never seen such action taken against a male tennis player. 

"He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief,'" she said after the match, according to BBC. "But I've seen other men call other umpires several things. I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff."

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