Tennis star Serena Williams raised eyebrows with comments made public Tuesday about a rape case involving high-school athletes in Steubenville, Ohio, that received national attention earlier this year.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine for a pre-Wimbledon feature story, the world's No. 1-ranked women's player said the 16-year-old girl should not have put herself in that situation.
"Do you think it was fair, what they got?" she said of the convicted football players to a Rolling Stone interviewer while watching a television news report on the case. "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 rape occurred last August and the two players were sentenced in March to juvenile detention. One of the boys was given an additional year for photographing the girl naked. The students boasted about the rape on social media, creating national outrage.
Williams is in England to prepare for Wimbledon and there was no immediate response from her representatives regarding the comments.