After sparking controversy with her candid comments on the Steubenville rape case, tennis star Serena Williams has reached out to the victim and her family to make amends.
“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,” she said in a statement. “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.”
The 16-time Grand Slam winner also added, “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.”
In the Rolling Stone article, the tennis veteran said that the victim — who was raped while drunk by two high school football players in August 2011 — “shouldn’t have put herself in that position,” generating a social media firestorm.
The family released a statement saying they were proud of her for retracting the remarks after Williams met with the victim and her mother Wednesday (June 20).
“We are sure Serena has and will continue to use her God-given talents to advance women’s equality and send the message that rape is never acceptable under any circumstance,” they said. “We are fans of Serena and will continue rooting for many more championships but more importantly watching her advance the cause of rape victims who are never to blame.” —Kandice Lawson