Serena Williams Predictably Backtracks On Her Steubenville Victim-Blaming Comments

Serena Williams Steubenville Rape Victim Comments

As could have been easily foretold, tennis champion Serena Williams has officially backtracked on her awful victim-blaming comments from her Rolling Stone interview that we reported on earlier. After facing quite a backlash from fans, survivors and anybody who just generally thinks it’s incredibly messed up to criticize the behavior of a rape victim and empathize with the rapists, Williams is now pulling a “no wait, I swear I didn’t mean exactly what I obviously meant!”

On her official site, Williams writes:

“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.”

LOL at “supposedly said,” which translates to “Rolling Stone totally twisted my words except they didn’t but I wanna insinuate I never said this because people are mad.”

Now, let’s just quickly review what was actually said in her interview:

“…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…”

Please, Serena Williams, leave the Steubenville survivor alone and stop trying to “reach out” to her for your own public image. Seriously. She has been through enough without a celebrity who slut shamed her attempting a PR stunt via a public apology. She’s not a cause or a statement; she’s a human being who survived an awful rape that millions of people knew about by the end of it all. Leave her alone.

Photo: Getty Images

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    • Maggie

      “She’s not a cause or a statement; she’s a human being who survived an
      awful rape that millions of people knew about by the end of it all.
      Leave her alone.”

      YES. Instead of singling out the poor girl yet again, why not make a sizable donation to a battered women’s shelter, or RAINN? Steubenville’s Jane Doe asked supporters to donate to a local women’s shelter, so if Serena is really remorseful for her words, then she’ll do something positive instead of “sending prayers” and all that bullshit. It disgusts me that a woman who paints herself as a role model can say such awful things.

    • Tusconian

      I agree with you, and Serena Williams as an individual needs to be called out.

      However, Serena Williams didn’t bring up Steubenville out of the blue. A reporter asked her about it while interviewing her over topics that otherwise probably related to Serena Williams. I feel like some reporters and such do this on purpose: ask a famous person (almost ALWAYS a woman) with no possible connection to the topic a question about a high profile, controversial topic that is known to descend into flame wars in an interview which is supposed to be about the person being interviewed. So the celebrity, predictably, says something offensive and stupid, and everyone talks about it for a few days, and then forgets it unless a convenient time to drag it out again occurs in the future. The only thing that is accomplished is that the reporter, who won’t be remembered by the average person, gets more links clicked on or copies purchased, so some higher up sees their “controversial,” “famous,” and “edgy” article and promotes them/gives them a raise/gives them a job at a better publication. Why do we expect a tennis player to have anything of substance to say about Steubenville? For the same reason we expect Miss Utah to have anything of substance to say about wage inequality: we don’t. We were never interested in knowing these things, but we get enraged, debate, or laugh once they fuck it all up, but the only person who gains anything for the useless knowledge of “Serena Williams isn’t very clever, and has some messed up attitudes towards other women” is the person who did the interview.