Norwegian soccer player Ada Hegerberg, a vocal advocate for respecting women athletes, broke a major barrier Monday when she became the first female recipient of the Ballon d’Or, an award honoring the world’s best soccer players.
But the 23-year-old’s moment as a trailblazer was momentarily soured by a bizarre question from the award ceremony’s host, DJ Martin Solveig: But can she twerk?
You can watch the exchange in French below, in which Solveig asks the winner if she can perform the dance move. Hegerberg appears visibly disgusted by the remark, gives a firm no and turns away from the camera as Solveig laughs.
This was the first year that the Ballon d’Or, presented annually since 1956, was designated to have both male and female recipients.
It’s no surprise Hegerberg didn’t play along with Solveig’s ill-conceived attempt at humor. She reaffirmed on Monday to The Associated Press that she will boycott playing for Norway at the Women’s World Cup in France next June because of the disrespect she believes female athletes face in her homeland.
“A lot of things need to be done to make the conditions better for women who play football,” said Hegerberg, who has been critical of the how much funding Norway’s Football Federation gives its female teams.
“It’s all about how we respect women’s football,” she said. “I don’t think the respect has been there.”
If Solveig’s twerking question is any indication, that problem may not be isolated to Norway.