Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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Posted at: Dec 5, 2018, 1:45 AM; last updated: Dec 5, 2018, 1:45 AM (IST)

First female winner is asked if she can twerk

First female winner is asked if she can twerk
Ada Hegerberg

FOR Ada Hegerberg, last night should have been one of the best moments she will ever experience in her sporting life. In a room full of footballing greats, and a table of 15 of the very best women's footballers, it was her who was chosen as the very first women's Ballon d'Or winner.

The prestigious trophy for the best female player had been a long time coming, but not only was the winner a fitting one — scoring over 250 career goals at just 23 — her speech was too, as she praised France Football, "together we will make a difference", she said. What came next could do more for women's football and female sport as a whole, than anything else. DJ Martin Solveig asked Hegerberg to twerk. That as a statement alone is ridiculous, completely irrelevant, and at best an incredibly misjudged comment. But dig a little deeper, and it is perhaps unsurprising. The men's Ballon d'Or, known across the world was presented by David Ginola; French Player of the year, PFA & FWA Player of the year. The women's award was presented by Solveig, No. 1 in Austria in 2010.

The sad reality, is this was not the first time, or the last time Ada Hegerberg will receive sexist abuse or comments in her career. From a young age, she would likely have been ridiculed for being a woman in a male dominated sport, earning less in wages, playing in worse conditions, and given scant acclaim despite her incredible talent.

But as Twitter reacted to Solveig's idiocy, something felt different. Usually, women's sport is treated with the usual disinterest, or ridicule. Last night, footballing Twitter erupted as one, in support of Hegerberg and disgust at Solveig.

The night may not be remembered for the first women's Ballon d'Or, but instead the moment where women's football was finally recognised. Those who may have not had a clue who Hegerberg was, or who she played for, instead watched her incredible highlights clips on YouTube, and wondered, along with the rest of us, how she could possibly have been asked whether she could twerk. — The Independent

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