Serena Williams found herself in the middle of some backlash today after a Rolling Stone article was published on their website that contained some comments she allegedly made about the Steubenville rape victim.
The case made national headlines and was met with outrage when the teenage rapists and their friends posted updates about the assault on an unconscious 16-year old girl via social media. Williams was quoted in the article as eluding to the rape victim being partially at fault because she was drunk enough to pass out.
“Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.’ ”
The tennis star says she would never blame a victim and issued an apology to the families today on her website, saying that what she “supposedly” said was insensitive and hurtful.
“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me,” read the statement. “I was deeply saddened. For someone to be raped, and at only sixteen, is such a horrible tragedy! For both families involved – that of the rape victim and of the accused. I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. What was written – what I supposedly said – is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.
I have fought all of my career for women’s equality, women’s equal rights, respect in their fields – anything I could do to support women I have done. My prayers and support always goes out to the rape victim. In this case, most especially, to an innocent sixteen year old child.”