Serena Williams Apologizes For Saying “It Could Have Been Worse” For Steubenville Rape Victim

Williams apologized in a blog post Wednesday morning after comments from her Rolling Stone profile prompted an outcry.

1. Rolling Stone profiled Williams about her life on and off the court. It also covered more serious topics like her thoughts on the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case.

Pool / Reuters

2. Many who read the profile thought that she was victim-blaming and perpetuating rape culture by putting the responsibility on the victim to protect herself.

Brad Barket / Getty Images

3. Her full quote about the Steubenville rape case from her Rolling Stone profile.

“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.”

4. After the story was published, the internet erupted with criticism of Williams.



Really Serena? Blame the rape victim. Keep it up. You are a disgrace to ALL WOMEN. @serenawilliams

Angie C


Serena said “im not blaming the girl” but then proceeded to blame the girl for her own rape b/c she was drunk. Inebriation is NOT consent.

So disappointed in Serena W rn. Victim blaming and slut shaming the Steubenville victim in the same paragraph. Smh

— George Costanza (@CataLopez90)

George Costanza


So disappointed in Serena W rn. Victim blaming and slut shaming the Steubenville victim in the same paragraph. Smh

Serena Williams you are a f*cking moron...a shame to women the f*ck can you say this. Smdh

— Summer Altice (@SummerAltice)

Summer Altice


Serena Williams you are a f*cking moron…a shame to women the f*ck can you say this. Smdh

8. Wednesday morning Williams published a blog post, apologizing, and clarifying her feelings on the case.

Mike Marsland / WireImage / Getty Images

9. Her full response:

“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.”

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