In Brief

Ballon d’Or sexism row: Twitter reacts to Ada Hegerberg being asked to ‘twerk’

Lyon and Norway star won the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or award

Ada Hegerberg last night made history by winning the first ever women’s Ballon d’Or award but her celebrations were overshadowed by a sexism row at the ceremony in Paris.

Receiving the golden ball trophy, Hegerberg was asked by host Martin Solveig, a French DJ, if she knew how to “twerk”. The Lyon and Norway star responded with a simple “no” and then walked away.

Following an outcry over the incident, Solveig apologised last night, saying: “I explained to [Ada] and she told me she understood it was a joke. Nevertheless, my apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Most importantly, congratulations to Ada.”

Hegerberg, 23, added: “He came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way. I didn’t really consider it sexual harassment or anything in the moment. I was just happy to do the dance and win the Ballon d’Or.”

Blatant sexism

Despite Solveig’s apology, football fans and media across the world were outraged by the “twerk” request.

Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl called the situation “absolute trash”, tweeting: “This is the crap female athletes deal with on a daily basis around the world.”

Broadcaster and The Offside Rule podcast presenter Kait Borsay tweeted: “Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg.. 3 time winner of Women’s #ChampionsLeague & French league #division1feminine. Scored more than 250 career goals by age of 23. First winner of women’s #BallonDor. Asked to twerk on stage after picking up her award. Not ok. Blatant #sexism.

“Apparently the twerk request was immediately after Ada made a kick ass speech about the inaugural female #BallonDor being a big moment for women’s football and how little girls should believe in themselves. Why the guy wasn’t made to apologise then and there I don’t know.”

SB Nation’s Kim McCauley wrote that she was “sick” of sexism in sport and called Solveig a “professional moron”. McCauley continued: “You’ve probably read a million blog posts about how incidents like this are sexist and disrespectful, and that’s because they are.

“But people are going to keep posting them, because people like Martin Solveig still exist, and inexplicably still get platforms to treat women like garbage in front of the whole world. Ada Hegerberg rules and I’m honestly a little sorry for amplifying this jerk at all.”  

How Twitter reacted

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