Serena Williams says the Steubenville rape victim should have showed better judgment, a comment that’s drawing some criticism to the tennis star.
Serena made it clear that she didn’t blame the victim, a 16-year-old girl who was reportedly drunk and taken to a series of parties by the town’s high school football players. But she did seem to sympathize with the two young men convicted of the rape.
“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,” Serena Williams said..
“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 case became a controversial topic as many outside Steubenville accused the town and police of giving preferential treatment to football players. It was also unusual as it was a test of new media and the courtroom. Much of the evidence in the case came in the way of social media updates — tweets and pictures posted to other sites by football players and other partygoers referencing the assault.
The case became a rallying point for internet activists, including the hacker group Anonymous. One of the Anonymous members connected to the case, Deric Lostutter, lead an operation exposing suspects’ tweets, videos, and Instagram photos showing players bragging about the assault and was later charged by FBI agents.
For Serena Williams, the comments on the Steubenville rape case are an unwanted distraction. She enters next week’s Wimbledon tournament as the No. 1 ranked player.