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Cartoonist Joel Pett responds to outraged Kentucky fans

May 13, 2012, 4:12 PM EDT

cartoon

Joel Pett of the Lexington Herald-Leader didn’t make many friends amongst Kentucky fans with his May 8 cartoon in response to the cancellation of the Indiana/Kentucky series.

The cartoon depicts head coach John Calipari’s trophy shelf, noting two vacated Final Four appearances and a “take my ball and go home” trophy alongside Kentucky’s 2012 national title.

To say the least much of Big Blue Nation wasn’t pleased with this artwork, firing off threats to cancel their subscriptions to the paper (a few followed through) and sending Pett emails and letters voicing their displeasure.

Pett provided a response of sorts in Sunday’s Herald-Leader, beginning with a description of his trip to Washington, D.C. to take part in a board meeting of the Cartoonist Rights Network.

Part of our agenda was to select the winner of the annual Courage in Cartooning Award, given to a cartoonist who showed particular bravery standing up to threats.

Sadly, there were many qualified candidates last year, perhaps the most notable being Ali Ferzat of Syria, who was beaten and had his fingers broken by thugs from the Assad regime.

The French satirical newspaper Hebdo was bombed over cartoons. Slovakian cartoonist Martin Sutovek was sued by Prime Minister Robert Fico for cartoons suggesting he lacked backbone. These are all-too-common stories, with variations repeated in India, Bahrain, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.

As with the infamous fatwah declared against the Danish cartoonists a couple of years back for drawing Mohammed, there are often undercurrents of tribalism or religious fanatacism in play, which brings us to University of Kentucky basketball.

Apparently fans have taken the liberty to call Pett at his home, with one even stating that they were outside at the time of the call.

As angry as some may be over the cartoon, that’s taking things entirely too far.

But looking at some of the above examples of cartoons, is one focused on a coach’s hypothetical trophy shelf all that malicious in comparison?

As much as we all love the games and the bragging rights that come with them, at the end of the day they’re just that: games.

Photo credit: Lexington Herald-Leader

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

  1. prov1x - May 13, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    UK fans have always had a warped sense of reality.

    In the words of the immortal “Big Toe”…”lighten up Francis”

    Besides, what about that cartoon isn’t true?

  2. steele9153 - May 13, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    If I were Pett, I would have responded to the caller “so what if you are outside?”

  3. hoosiercolts - May 13, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    There is no fan base in any sport, in any state that overreacts and gets more butthurt over little things than KY fans. Stop proving that the stereotype is true. Grow up you pussies.

  4. diamondmo33 - May 14, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    Ky jellies

  5. pmd5319 - May 14, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Not a Kentucky fan, I agree it’s stupid for their fans to get worked up over a cartoon, but when are people going to leave Cal alone. UMass wins vacated because coaches rebounded for players during summer shoot arounds and Camby had dealings with an agent. Memphis wins vacated because “The Humble” Derrick Rose cheated on his ACT. Who cares if he gets abunch of one and dones to come play? He rebuilds his team on the fly every single year and they contend every single year. 99.9% of college basketball fans would take Cal over their coach now. He won a championship, give him his props, laugh at how rediculous UK fans are, and move on.

    • dexterismyhero - May 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      99.9% of the fans wouldn’t take him over their coach now. just sayin.

  6. kingghidora - May 17, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    LOL I see the LHL staff has their assignment for the day. Try to make UK fans look bad with fake comments about a pathetic story. Do you really think it will get you more respect on the national scene to bash the team that feeds your children. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and his name is Calipari and without him you’d have to find a real job. You aren’t fooling anyone. You media types all think controversy sells papers. Maybe toilet paper where people crap themselves from laughing so hard. Try harder next time. No one cares about your stupid cartoon. No one cares about your militant Islam comments. You’re the joke here and don’t forget it. We won’t. Stop it though, you’re killing me. I can’t stop laughing long enough to eat dinner. UK, which just won the national championship by blasting everyone they played out of the gym, is the butt of your jokes? Why not try to sell seats to a “I hate UK” event. You can hold it in a restroom at the Student Center on campus. There should be plenty enough seats each designed to catch the crap you spew. LOL you guys crack me up. Seriously, is this the best you can do? Scared of IU. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

  7. kingghidora - May 17, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

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