Serena Williams is known for being an amazing tennis player, not a fantastic public spokeswoman, and we found out why last week. Discussing the famous Steubenville rape case – in which a 16-year-old girl was drugged and raped repeatedly by local high school football players as others videotaped and then posted the incident on the Internet – she came out with this hot mess to Rolling Stone:
“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.”
Oh, totes, Serena. Girls are DEFINITELY asking to be raped and humiliated about said rape just by going to a party, or by wearing “slutty” clothes, or by having a drink. That definitely gives dudes the right to stick their dicks in you while you’re unconscious and totally explains why the whole town would be on their side! It’s all her fault! How dare this girl be a normal teenager? At the very least, how dare she be surprised that dudes rape her when she does? Fuck off.
Anyway, Serena has realised the error of her ways (read: her publicist has told her to backpedal like crazy) and posted the following message on her personal website:
“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! 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.”
Well, I guess that’s nice. She still gets a side-eye from me.