Williams issues apology for rape comments
The Sports Xchange Reuters
10:00 a.m. CDT, June 19, 2013
“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me,” the world’s No. 1-ranked women’s player said in a statement. “I was deeply saddened. For someone to be raped, and at only 16, 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 16-year-old child.”
Two Steubenville High School football players were convicted in March of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl. After the rape took place last August, students boasted about it using social media, creating widespread public ire.
In an excerpt from a Rolling Stone interview that the magazine released to the public on Tuesday, Williams said the girl should not have put herself in that situation.
“Do you think it was fair, what they got?” she told the magazine interviewer while watching a news report on the case. “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.”
Williams is currently in England preparing for Wimbledon.