Serena Williams angered a lot of people with her comments in her Rolling Stone profile about the much-publicized Steubenville rape case. Now the tennis star has come forward to seemingly deny that she actually made the comments while also apologizing for them.
“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened. For someone to be raped, and at only sixteen, is such a horrible tragedy!” she says in a statement. “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.”
Williams continues, “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.”
In the profile, writer Stephen Rodrick depicts a scene where he and Williams were watching the news and a story about the rape case where two high school football players raped a 16-year-old girl while others watched and texted about it flashed on the screen. Williams’ documented response placed blame on the victim.
“Do you think it was fair, what they [the rapers] 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,” Williams is reported to have said. “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.”
Do you think Williams actually said those comments?