sports

Ada made female sporting history. Then a man stole her moment with a sexist comment.

Ada Hegerberg made history today.

The Norwegian football player, who plays in France, was awarded the inaugural Ballon d’Or French football award for best female player in the world, beating out 14 other nominees (including Australian Sam Kerr).

She is the first woman to win an award – selected by a jury of 45 journalists – since the ceremony started in 1956.

It’s undeniably a huge achievement and it should’ve been her moment.

But a man standing next to her – French DJ Martin Solveig – stole it from her.

With one question he changed the narrative: People would no longer be talking about the success of a woman who worked hard to be the best.

Instead, they would be talking about a man and how he totally disrespected her achievement by asking her, live on stage, to twerk.

Sigh. Yep.

Solveig, who was hosting the awards ceremony, hijacked Hegerberg’s big moment with a totally inappropriate, sexist question.

Hegerberg expertly shut him down with a blunt “no” and of course, male winner Luka Modric did not face the same question.

To make the situation seem even more dire, Hegerberg had just used her acceptance speech to speak of the inequality between men and women in football.

She expressed frustration at living “in such a man’s world” and said the award would not make her reconsider her refusal to play for Norway, including at next June’s Women’s World Cup, because of her unhappiness over perceived inequality.

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“A lot of things need to be done to make the conditions better for women who play football,” she said.

“I would like to end this speech with some words to young girls all over the world. Please believe in yourself.”

Twitter, rightly, was outraged by the lack of respect shown by Solveig, as was tennis player Andy Murray, who shared his thoughts on Instagram.

andy murray instagram story about ada hegerberg
Andy Murray's response. Image: Instagram.
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Aware of the outrage after the show, Solveig tweeted a video of him claiming he meant no disrespect.

He offered a pretty weak apology, calling his comments a 'joke' and offered no direct apology for saying them. Instead, he said he was sorry if anyone was offended and did not offer any apology to Hegerberg herself.

"I’m a little bit amazed as to what I’m reading on the internet. I of course didn’t want to offend anyone," he said.

"This was a joke, probably a bad one and I want to apologise for the ones I may have offended. Sorry about that," he said.

Speaking after the incident, Hegerberg said she understood Solveig was joking.

"He came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way," she told the BBC. "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."

-With AAP.

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