Cartoonist Joel Pett responds to outraged Kentucky fans


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 and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)