The 2018 Balloon d'Or ceremony meant not only the end of the ten-year reign of Ronaldo and Messi over the grand prize, but also a new era for the award, with the inauguration of the first balloon d 'Or for Women's Football ,
The striker from Lyon and Norway, Ada Hegerberg, was named the first winner of the award, which honored the best female player who performed better in the calendar year than her colleagues. The 23-year-old had fully earned the prize and made it memorable in the memorable Champions League final this year, when Lyon defeated Wolfsburg 4-1 in a historic night in Kiev.
Wolfsburg striker Pernille Harder came in second, followed by Dzsenifer Marozsan and Brazilian star Marta, who finished third.
However, this historic night of women's football was quickly clouded by controversy after host DJ Martin Solveig asked the first female laureate if she could "twerk". The player simply answered "no". For anyone who does not know this term, he refers to a sexually provocative dance.
Her glorious moment was quickly overshadowed by this dreadful attempt at "humor," as most headlines read the following morning: "Ada Hegerberg asked if she knows how to do twerk when she takes her balloon d 'Or.", Twitter has also taken over. The indignation was widespread and widely condemned as sexist, with thousands slamming the French DJ, who soon released an apology video.
Even professional athletes reacted, and tennis player Andy Murray played with: "Another example of the ridiculous sexism that still exists in sport", Many women footballers used their own social media channels and expressed their sympathy and disbelief over the comment. They explained that most of them face such problems on a daily basis.
As an aspiring woman in the world of football, I was saddened and shocked when the scenario took place on Monday night. I asked myself: "Wait, is he really asking her for twerk ?!" Admittedly, some nuance has been lost when social media took over the matter. Solveig tried to make Hegerberg dance, as he had done with Kylian Mbappé a few minutes before the Frenchman received his Trophée Kopa award, and the French DJ had always thought his comment was a joke as he and Hegerberg joined seconds later a Frank Sinatra track danced. "Fly me to the moon"This was an allusion to the player's groundbreaking achievements as the first female balloon D & # 39; Or winner. But that does not matter – what's really important, why did not he ask Mbappé for "twerk"? Solveig's initial apology did not seem disingenuous, but perhaps underscored his inability to understand how his remarks were sexist.
This is just another reminder that there is still much to do to rid football of sexism. This of course follows other sexist utterances against female footballers. One incident that comes to mind is the story of Karen Carney. The Chelsea women's midfielder received abusive comments after an Instagram game, including:I hope someone will rape you to death. ",
However, the high profile of this recent case and the resulting worldwide outrage offer the opportunity to capture that impetus and continue to highlight the need for better treatment of women footballers in a sport that historically predominates, at least in the UK. They were inseparable from the nature of " "Lads" or "locker room" culture, often at the root of the tribulation that an individual like Carney had to contend with.
The Monday night should be a big step forward for women's football, and instead focus will be on Solveig's needless comment. Instead, we should have taken away the fact that the balloon d & # 39; Or was bestowed on a woman for the first time since its inception in 1956. I find it sad that such a historic moment in women's play has been compromised by the ignorance of an individual who "Un, pour a bien" (a bad deed, a good deed) The principle must be applied here if we believe that this is possible – and the electricity and outrage that this incident has caused must be in promoting greater respect and interest in women's football and its biggest players. like Ada in the future.