Serena Williams apologizes for ‘insensitive’ rape comments
Williams did not blame the victim — a 16-year-old West Virginia girl — for being raped, but she was quoted in the Rolling Stone article as saying that the victim put herself in the situation and is lucky because “it could have been much worse.”
Making matters worse is that Williams wasn’t very apologetic for her remarks. Instead, she mostly blamed the writer for supposedly misquoting her.
“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me,” Williams said in an initial statement on her website. “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.”
It looks like Williams wanted another opportunity to make good on her apology, so she issued a new statement on her website that took the place of the old one. Here’s what the new one states:
“I am deeply sorry for my insensitive and misinformed comments. It was not my intention to cause the victim and her family any additional pain. But I did, and I am sorry. I am grateful to them for the opportunity to personally apologize, and I am humbled by their strength, grace, and forgiveness.
“I also want to extend an apology to the millions of sexual assault victims in America whose pain could have been compounded by my inappropriate remarks. Rape and all forms of sexual assault are completely unacceptable, no matter the circumstances. Sexual assault perpetrated against women and men is never acceptable and *never* the fault of the victim.”
I wonder if Serena’s feelings on the matter changed after she spoke with the victim’s family. Or maybe between this and the drama with Maria Sharapova, she felt the need to completely repair her image. Regardless, it’s nice that she actually apologized in her new statement rather than blame the writer.