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article imageSerena Williams 'sorry' for Steubenville rape victim comments

By Yukio Strachan     Jun 19, 2013 in Sports
World No. 1 tennis star Serena Williams on Wednesday issued a statement apologizing for her comments in a Rolling Stone magazine article that said the Steubenville rape victim "shouldn't have put herself" in a position to be raped.
In a statement released on her website Wednesday, Williams says:
“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.”
Her statement comes in response to the outrage sparked from a Rolling Stone article, called, “The Great One.” In the provocative story, posted online Tuesday about Williams, journalist Stephen Rodrick described how he was watching television with Williams when news of the infamous Ohio rape trial came on the screen:
We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV – two high school football players raped a drunk 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. "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."
The comments immediately caused a media firestorm, with some on Twitter asking Nike to drop her as a spokeswoman.
Women's Tennis Association Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stacey Allaster said the tour had been in touch with Williams about the article, ESPN reported.
"If she was accurately quoted, then Serena's comments were both insensitive and wrong," Allaster said in a statement. "We disagree with the statements and have made that clear to her."
Rodrick, who wrote the Rolling Stone article, stands by his reporting, telling the Poynter Institute: "The interview is on tape. Other than that, I'll let the story speak for itself."
Williams is in England preparing for Wimbledon.
More about serena williams steubenville, Steubenville rape victim, Serena williams, blaming the victim, Rolling Stone Magazine
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