I don't know who Stephen Rodrick is, the man who was tasked with doing an in depth interview with Serena Williams that appears in the current issue of "Rolling Stone" magazine, the one that published just before the start of Wimbledon.
This is the comment that is causing all kinds of drama.
We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV – two high school football players raped a drunk 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. “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.”
Serena has issued the following statement:
“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.”
There are a number of problems with Rodrick's interview, chief among them quoting from what appears to be a private conversation Serena had with an unnamed person about people who are never identified. Fans of a certain player quickly decided who Serena "must have" been talking about and accused her of throwing shade against one of the women ranked second or third in the WTA. When the beat reporters who usually print whatever the Tours want them to question the ethics of what was done regarding the private conversation and regular tennis heads ask why that wasn't edited out you know you have a perfect storm.
The other question is why, if an advance copy was presented to Serena's PR people there weren't protests about the content? Why wasn't a PR person present at the interview to stop Serena from making what is obviously a personal observation about the Steubenville situation?
The glee with which some fandoms have seized on the statements to attack Serena tells me this is being used to try and break her focus in the hope that she will lose in an early round to a lower ranked player or a Qualifier and allow their favorite to win a Slam without having to go through The Great One.
I don't want to get feed the trolls so this is all I will say on this matter.