Ok I'm opening this thread in non-tennis to avoid the shit storm in GM, but I think this is the most balanced response I have seen to this incident, and I think we'll all do good to heed it.
"Serena appears to be stirring controversy again, but I believe that her views, though polarizing, are not that unusual. If anything, they illustrate that we still have a ways to go in educating the public about what it means to be a victim of sexual assault, and that individuals who commit such crimes should be held accountable for their actions.
"I've been a prosecutor in Northern California for 17 years, and for the last four, I prosecuted sexual assault cases, including child molestation and adult rape. I cannot tell you how many potential jurors espouse views similar to Serena's: The victim of rape is somehow responsible for the crime because she put herself in a situation that made it easier for young men to commit crimes against her, and that the young men are somehow less responsible for their actions because the girl was drunk.
"When I read Serena's views, it made me think she would make a terrible juror on a sexual assault case, and that she's the kind of person who could be educated to rethink her views. I have argued to juries many times over the last few years that we have evolved as a society. We used to believe that a woman who said she was raped could only be believed if there were other witnesses to the crime or other corroborating evidence. Now we know, and the law allows, that the testimony of a single witness, if believed by a jury, is sufficient to convict a defendant. We now understand and accept as a society that sexual assault usually occurs when no one else is looking and when the victim is most vulnerable.
"Certainly, the victim in the Steubenville rape case appears to have been incredibly vulnerable because she was completely drunk and unconscious. To blame her for being the victim of rape and to reduce the responsibility of the perpetrators, as Serena appears to do, shows that the old ways of thinking about rape are alive and well. While I would never choose Serena as juror, I certainly wouldn't mind talking to her about the subject matter in hopes of helping her understand that the young men in Steubenville bear the responsibility for sexually assaulting a young woman who was incapable of giving consent, and that they got what they deserved for committing a horrible crime.
"I know this column is about tennis, so let me add this: I'm a huge fan of Serena's tennis and I will continue to root for her. But this incident shows yet again a fundamental difference between her and Venus, an eloquent advocate for equal pay in her sport and a terrific ambassador for women's sports. I, for one, cannot imagine Venus making the remarks attributed to Serena on the subject of sexual assault."
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ten...#ixzz2WhaydAB0