Serena Williams, one half of the William’s sisters that have dominated women’s tennis for years, gave a pretty bizarre interview to Rolling Stone recently.
In the interview, she spoke to Stephen Rodrick, author of The Magical Stranger and a riveting Dennis Rodman profile, who asked Serena about the Steubenville rape scandal, where football players in a local high school raped a 16-year-old girl and took pictures, which went viral on the Internet. Here’s what Serena said ( according to Deadspin, who published excerpts of the interview):
We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV—two high school football players raped a 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.”
Um…what? Let’s dissect Serena’s comments. Just asking if getting criminal punishments for RAPING SOMEONE is already bizarre enough…but she continues.
“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?”
This statement…jeez. What is Serena thinking? It almost seems like she’s blaming the 16-year-old for getting raped because she was drunk. Just because a girl is drunk doesn’t mean its ok to rape her, Serena.
She then continues saying, “it could have been much worse…she’s lucky.” What’s worse than getting raped, losing at Wimbledon? The victim suffered a huge, traumatic, and tragic ordeal, and Williams basically brushes that off by saying she’s lucky and essentially says it’s not a big deal. Obviously, the victim could be dead, but still, that shouldn’t give Serena the right to simply say “oh it’s only rape” (I’m paraphrasing).
My biggest problem with Serena’s comments — and obviously, every has a right to their own opinion — is that it seems like she’s saying the victim asked for it. How someone can think a rape victim “put herself in that position” is beyond me and something that I can’t quite grasp. For such a famous athlete, Serena certainly put her foot in her mouth.
We’ve reached out to Serena Williams and we’re waiting for a comment.