London, EN, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Serena Williams is reaching out to the family of the Steubenville rape case victim after making comments that she calls “insensitive and hurtful”, which were quoted in a Rolling Stone article.
She said that by no means would she say or insinuate that the girl was to blame.
“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened,” added Williams.
Williams is in England preparing for Wimbledon.
WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said that if Williams was accurately quoted, then her comments were both insensitive and wrong.
“We disagree with the statements and have made that clear to her,” Allaster said.
Serena Williams drew criticism for noting that the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim should have showed better judgment.
She seemed to sympathize with the two young men convicted of the rape, asking if the judgment was fair to them.
Serena said that 16-year-old girls should not be taking drinks from other people and wondered why a girl of that age was so drunk that she could not remember the incident.
“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 case became a controversial topic as many outside Steubenville accused the town and police of giving preferential treatment to football players. It was also unusual as much of the evidence in the case came in the way of social media updates — tweets and pictures posted to other sites by football players and other partygoers referencing the assault.