First woman Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg asked to 'twerk' at awards function

Ada responded "Non" in French, looking embarassed, and the clip from the event got severe criticism from millions of netizens.

Published: 04th December 2018 12:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2018 02:03 PM   |  A+A-

Olympique Lyonnais' Ada Hegerberg celebrates with the Women's Ballon d'Or award during the Golden Ball award ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris on 3 December 2018. (Photo | AP)

Olympique Lyonnais' Ada Hegerberg celebrates with the Women's Ballon d'Or award during the Golden Ball award ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris on 3 December 2018. (Photo | AP)

By Online Desk

PARIS: Olympique Lyonnais and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural Ballon d’Or award for the best player in women’s football on Monday but the moment was tarnished when DJ Martin Solveig asked her to ‘twerk’ after receiving the prize. 

Even though the 23-year-old Norwegian footballer said she hadn't been offended by the twerking question during Monday's award ceremony, Solveig still apologized on Twitter after his comment caused a social media stir.

The incident was a major talking point despite Hegerberg's achievement in becoming the first winner of the women's Ballon D'Or, an award which has been handed to male footballers since 1956.

“You’ve seen that I prepared a little celebration for (France forward) Kylian (Mbappe) so we said we’re going to do something similar. Do you know how to twerk?” said DJ Solveig at the awards show.

Ada responded "Non" in French, looking embarassed, and the clip from the event got severe criticism from millions of netizens.

'Twerking' is a sexually provocative dance move popularised by singer Miley Cyrus.

As footage of the incident went viral, Two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray led the backlash when he thundered: "Why do women still have to put up with that shit?" He posted on Instagram: "Another example of the ridiculous sexism that still exists in sport. To everyone who thinks people are overreacting and it was just a joke... it wasn't. I've been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal."

Instagram story screenshots | Andy Murray

Solveig tweeted, "I didn't know that this could be seen as such an offense," and added: "This was a joke, probably a bad one."

Hegerberg said Solveig also apologized to her personally, even though "I wasn't upset."

Playing down the incident, she told the BBC: “He (Solveig) came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way. I didn’t really think about it at the time to be honest. I didn’t really consider it a sexual harassment or anything in the moment." She added: "I was just happy to do the dance and win the Ballon d'Or to be honest. I will have a glass of champagne when I get back."

Before the ceremony, Hegerberg told The Guardian that she found it "really frustrating" that sport remains "such a man's world".

"Sometimes it's really frustrating, I must say. Sometimes you have episodes or situations where you feel like, damn, we're in such a man's world," she said in an interview.

"But at the same time I've never looked at myself different from men's football. I've always felt the same -- I work hard to try to achieve my dreams, like every other girl out there."

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the men's award, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the trophy in more than a decade.

Ada Hegerberg won the 2016 UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe Award on 25 August 2016, and in 2017 was named BBC Women's Footballer of the Year. The striker was the French league's top scorer with 31 goals last season while also firing 15 in the Champions League as Lyon went on to win the competition. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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