Thursday, June 20, 2013

Serena Williams Apologizes For Insensitive Comments About Rape Victim

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Serena Williams has issued a full apology for saying that the 16 year-old victim of a gang-rape in Stuebenville last year was "lucky" and "shouldn't have put herself in that position". Serena's comments provoked a furious backlash on social media and from women's rights activists. In her apology, Serena Williams said;


“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.”"

The apology comes in the wake of an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, in which Serena Williams who most recently won the French Open, questioned the sentences received by two high school football players who sexually abused a drunk girl at a party in August last year, while other students distributed pictures and video footage on social media. The rapists, Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond were each sentenced to a year in juvenile detention in March for raping the intoxicated teen.

In her response to a question by Rolling Stone, Serena Williams agreed that the convicted men "did something stupid" but asked: "Do you think it's fair, what they got?"

She however added, quite insensitively if you ask me, "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! 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."

Serena Williams, has now offered an apology to the victim, though one can be cynical and say maybe it's because of all those RTs Nike has been getting on Twitter about still keeping Serena on her multi-million dollar endorsement deals and the immediate loss of fans on her social media. Who knows?







1 comment:

  1. It's not easy being a celebrity, you have to be 'correct' all the time!

    Well, since I am not a celebrity (yet) let me say that I don't think this part of what she said was insensitive:

    "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! 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."

    I don't think that poor judgement is 'punishable' by rape or anything like that, but that is not to say that the girl (and other undiscerning girls)should not be told that to get drunk at a party and all that went down there that is unknown to us is not putting one's self in a bad and risky position.

    I don't think Serena meant to say that she got what she deserved, just that she could have been more careful.

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