Serena Williams Thinks Steubenville Rape Victim ‘Shouldn’t Have Put Herself in That Position’ [Update]

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Serena Williams arrives at Burberry Menswear Spring/Summer 2014 at Kensington Gardens on June 18, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Burberry)
Serena Williams. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/2013 Getty Images

If Rolling Stone’s profile of Serena Williams had ended a few paragraphs earlier, there might have been some buzz among tennis fans about her criticizing a competitor who may or may not be Maria Sharapova, and writer Stephen Rodrick comparing her to Kim Jong-un. However, when Roderick accompanied Williams to a nail salon, a report about the rape of a 16-year-old girl from Steubenville, Ohio by two football players happened to appear a TV screen, and Williams decided to share her breathtakingly insensitive take on the case. “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know,” Williams remarked. “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?”

Williams added, “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.”

Her remarks were widely condemned on social media, with journalist Jamil Smith providing the best takeaway:

While Rodrick emphasizes in the beginning of the article that, “Serena’s dominance has been fueled by not giving a shit what you or anyone else thinks about her methods,” we’d be surprised if a statement clarifying her remarks doesn’t appear soon.

Update, 11:36 a.m.: As predicted, Williams released a statement on her website this morning clarifying her opinion about the Steubenville victim. It was not, however, an apology.

Serena Williams Blames Steubenville Rape Victim