In a Rolling Stone profile, written by Stephen Rodrick, Serena Williams had some absolutely awful things to say about the 16-year-old rape victim from Steubenville, Ohio. Williams is now trying to backtrack, but Rodrick is standing by his story. If you haven’t read the Williams quotes already, get a load of this:
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.
The backlash to those comments was rightfully swift and brutal, so of course, Williams has issued a non-apology apology. Williams doesn’t admit to actually doing anything wrong. Instead, she says Rodrick made the quote up:
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.
However, as Poynter reports, Rodrick has proof that’s exactly what she said. “The interview is on tape,” he wrote, via email. “Other than that, I’ll let the story speak for itself.”
Maybe Williams should fake apologize to Rodrick next.