RESPONSE TO “HOW TO TWERK” COMMENT AT BALLON D’OR AWARDS

In response to yesterday’s news that the presenter at last night’s Ballon D’Or Awards asked winner Ada Hegerberg if she knew “how to twerk” after she collected her award, Women’s Sport Trust, Co-Founder, Tammy Parlour, commented:

“Ada Hegerberg is a phenomenal footballer, and a more than worthy winner of the first Women’s Ballon d’Or.  The award recognises her talent, her phenomenal skill and her many achievements on the pitch; and that’s what we should be talking about.  Instead the story has been hijacked by the casual sexism of a presenter who asked if she knew how to ‘twerk’.

It wasn’t funny, or clever and shouldn’t be dismissed as ‘just a joke’.  Women and girls are under constant social pressure about how they should look and act.  Sport has the potential to be a place where they are valued totally differently – for their spirit, their determination and their skill.  Lazy stereotypes and undermining questions need to become a relic of the past.  And if you wouldn’t ask a male pro athlete the same thing, it’s almost certainly not OK to ask a female pro athlete either.

With the upcoming Women’s World Cup in France 2019, a compelling Women’s Super League and England named as hosts for Euro 2021 – we look forward to the next raft of stories about women’s football focusing on the athletes, their stories and the great sport that’s being played.”