Serena Williams stepped into a hotbed of controversy after she essentially said the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim was asking for it. The tennis superstar made the inflammatory comments while she was doing an interview for Rolling Stone and the infamous Ohio rape trial flashed across the screen.
Instead of shying away from the topic, Williams referred to the rapists' actions as “stupid.” She said: “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.”
But Williams, 31, didn’t stop there: “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.”
In March, two players from the Steubenville High School football team in Ohio were convicted of raping a drunk 16-year-old last August. The case's notoriety grew when some students not only did not intervene but used social media to gloat about the heinous act.
Steubenville wasn’t the only sensitive topic Williams touched on. She also was apparently talking about rival Maria Sharapova and her boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov, who happens to be Williams’ ex. Rolling Stone quotes the tennis player while she was on the phone:
“‘There are people who live, breathe and dress tennis. I mean seriously, give it a rest.’ Serena exits the car and the conversation moves on to a Top Five player who is now in love. ‘She begins every interview with 'I'm so happy. I'm so lucky'—it's so boring," says Serena in a loud voice. ‘She's still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.’”
Williams is currently preparing for Wimbledon in England.