(TheBlaze/AP) -- Serena Williams says she's reaching out to the family of the victim in the Steubenville rape case after the tennis star was quoted in a Rolling Stone article saying "she shouldn't have put herself in that position." The comment, naturally, raised some eyebrows.
Serena Williams of United States of America celebrates match point in her Women's Singles Final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day fourteen of French Open at Roland Garros on June 8, 2013 in Paris, France. Credit: Getty Images
"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," Williams said in a statement released through her agent Wednesday. "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 comment was made in one paragraph of a lengthy story posted online Tuesday about Williams, a 16-time Grand Slam title winner who is ranked No. 1 heading into Wimbledon, which starts next week.
In this image provided by Delta Air Lines, Serena Williams challenges Delta travellers to an impromptu game of table tennis at Heathrow Airport on June 18, 2013 in London, England. Delta flew the tennis icon from New York's JFK to London where she will compete at the All England Club. Credit: Getty Images
Two players from the Steubenville, Ohio, high school football team were convicted in March of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl; one of the boys was ordered to serve an additional year for photographing the girl naked. The case gained widespread attention in part because of the callousness with which other students used social media to gossip about it.
"What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened," Williams said in the statement. "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."
According to the Rolling Stone story, Williams says the perpetrators of the crime "did something stupid," and she asks: "Do you think it was fair, what they got?"
She adds, "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 arrives at Burberry Menswear Spring/Summer 2014 at Kensington Gardens on June 18, 2013 in London, England. Credit: Getty Images Europe
Williams also is quoted as saying: "... she shouldn't have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that's different."
Williams is in England preparing for Wimbledon.
"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," she said in the statement. "My prayers and support always goes out to the rape victim. In this case, most especially, to an innocent sixteen year old child."
WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said the tour had been touch with Williams about the article.
"If she was accurately quoted, then Serena's comments were both insensitive and wrong," Allaster said in a statement. "We disagree with the statements and have made that clear to her."