Ballon d'Or victor Hegerberg plays down sexism row over 'twerk' request

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But any pretense of social progress upon the advent of a women's award went out the window at Monday's ceremony when French DJ Martin Solveig asked Hegerberg to twerk while presenting her with her Ballon d'Or.

But then, as a video clip showing Solveig's interaction with Hegerberg started to rack up millions of views on Twitter, he understood.

Posting a statement via an Instagram video, Murray said: "Why do woman still have to put up with that shit?"

Despite being recognized as the best female footballer in the world, the outspoken 23-year-old said she won't play for Norway at the Women's World Cup in France next June. If people think that it's okay to ask someone to do that.

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He concluded his message by referring to a "level of sexism unreal".

Murray was the only male tennis player in the world's top 50 to work with a female coach during his two-year spell with Amelie Mauresmo.

While there was much to celebrate, however, a co-host sparked controversy right after Hegerberg gave her winning speech, asking young girls to believe in themselves.

The Norwegian victor made history by becoming the first to receive the honor of Ballon d'Or's inaugural title as the best female player in the world. Hegerberg, speaking of the matter directly after the ceremony, said she did not take it as "sexual harassment" and emphasized there were more important issues to focus on.

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"I, of course, didn't want to offend anyone", he added."This comes from a distortion of my English culture level, which is obviously not enough because I didn't mean to offend anyone".

Hegerberg, who scored 42 goals in all competitions last season and led Lyon to a third consecutive Women's Champions League title, promptly responded "no", before turning away from Solveig.

"It was sad if people thought about the situation like that, but it didn't come to my mind at all".

"The twerking comment was used in contrast to the song I had prepared for her; however, this sentiment was misunderstood and has sadly caused offense", he wrote. "I will have a glass of champagne when I get back". It had not previously included a women's football category. I don't think the respect has been there.

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Hegerberg said in her acceptance speech that the award is a step in the right direction for women's soccer and encouraged young girls to play soccer.