HERALD Sun cartoonist Mark Knight says he suspended his Twitter account overnight because of abuse towards his family over his cartoon of Serena Williams' US Open tantrum.
Knight said he did it to protect his family and friends.
Australia's finest cartoonist said while positive comments were outweighing negative, he chose to do it to stop family being abused.
Claims the account had been suspended by Twitter are wrong.
Knight has dismissed the global Twitter storm over his depiction of a tantrum-throwing Williams during the final of the US Open.
The Herald Sun's veteran cartoonist says his portrayal was never about race or gender - rather the sporting superstar's bad behaviour.
Knight's take on Williams' blow up showed the 23 Grand Slam winner spitting the dummy and stomping on her tennis racquet as the chair umpire told US Open champion Naomi Osaka in the background: "Can you just let her win."
Knight said he was "amazed" at the reaction to his cartoon, depicting Serena spitting the dummy and stamping on her tennis racquet as the chair umpire told US Open champion Naomi Osaka in the background: "Can you just let her win."
"I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world's best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting," he said.
"It's been picked up by social media in the US and my phone has just melted down.
"The world has just gone crazy."
Knight said it was a cartoon about poor behaviour.
"Three days before I had drawn a cartoon about Nick Kyrgios being led off by the ears, like you used to do with your children," he said.
"The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behaviour on the day, not about race."
Knight said he had been unfairly criticised on social media channels.
"I tried to reply to these people but they just don't listen," he said.
"On any given day you are a hero and on any given day you are a pariah.
"And you just have to live with it."
This is how @Knightcartoons and @theheraldsun in #Australia portrayed #SerenaWilliams in their publication today. And notice how they made #Osaka look like a white woman.— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) September 10, 2018
This isn’t about “gender”. This is simply global anti-Black white supremacy. pic.twitter.com/uoRijSfcrG
Broadcaster Neil Mitchell defended Knight this morning on his 3AW radio program.
"This shows an awful misunderstanding of Mark Knight and this country," he said.
"I looked at that cartoon and it didn't even cross my mind it was about race.
"It was a sports bully, a petulant child throwing a tantrum about losing."
Mitchell said ugly accusations were being labelled against Knight that were unfair.
"She behaved badly, she probably knows it," he said.
"For heaven's sake.
"He's sending Serena up, not because she's black, but because she was acting like a bully and a child.
"And he's right."
More Mark Knight cartoons