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The first woman to win a major football award is asked to twerk – Twitter reacts accordingly

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Susan Devaney
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Ada Hegerberg, the first woman to scoop the prestigious Ballon d’Or was asked to twerk live on stage by the host (yes, you read that correctly). 

When footballer Ada Hegerberg took to the stage to accept the prestigious Ballon d’Or award last night (Monday 3 December) she was making history for women everywhere. Until that moment, no woman had ever recieved the accolade.

But what happened next is a prime example of what women in sport face on a daily basis: she was asked if she could twerk. Was the same asked of Luka Modric as he ended a decade of dominance by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by scooping the men’s award? No.

Hegerberg, who helped Lyon to the French title and Champions League (she scored in the final), beat Denmark’s Pernille Harder to the prize, and handled being asked if she “knew how to twerk” by DJ host Martin Solveig with aplomb. In short: she said “no” and promptly walked off stage.

Shortly after the ceremony, Solveig tweeted saying that he had apologised to Hegerberg for the remark.

“I explained to [Ada] and she told me she understood it was a joke,” Solveig wrote. “Nevertheless, my apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Most importantly, congratulations to Ada.”

“He came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way. I didn’t really think about it at the time,” Hegerberg said afterwards.

“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.”

More importantly, Hegerberg emphasised how important the award meant to women in the sport.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “This is a great motivation to continue working hard and we will continue to work together to win more titles. I wanted to end with some words for young girls around the world: believe in yourselves.”

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Of course, women have taken to Twitter to call out the incident. 

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray – who has shut down sexist remarks in tennis several times – called out the remark by taking to Instagram

 “Another example of the ridiculous sexism that still exists in sport,” he wrote. 

“Why do woman [sic] still have to put up with that s**t? What questions did they ask [Kylian] Mbappe and [men’s winner Luka] Modric? I’d imagine something to do with football.

“And 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.”   

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. You can read more on the progress of women’s football here

Images: Getty 

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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