According to Time Magazine, yesterday Norwegian footballer Ada Hegerberg had just accepted a trophy, an MVP award, honoring her skills when the presenter, Martin Solveig, a DJ, asked her in French if “she could twerk”. She was visibly annoyed and answered “no”.
But I’m sure she was wondering, as we all were, WHY would he pick THAT question to ask Ballon D’Or’s 1st ‘Woman Soccer Player of the Year’? Even if she could twerk his question was so BASIC it left me baffled. What was his motivation to ask a female if she can twerk?
I’ve had someone walk up to me and ask the same thing and my answer was NO but my thought was, we don’t know each other, why would you assume it is ok to ask me that? And just for the record, the question was heard only between he and I, it wasn’t asked in front of an audience after I’d won a prestigious award that I earned.
Unfortunately Martin Solveig’s response and apology were equally weak. Instead of him acknowledging he DID NOT know Ada Hegerberg well enough to assume she’d find his request amusing, much less consider actually DOING IT, he pushed back on the backlash, cowering behind his fans who he says has known him for 20 years and knows how respectful he is, ESPECIALLY with women. (Especially??)
Maybe his engendered distinction of respect between men and women is part of the problem. (What does “especially women” mean?) If you respect PEOPLE and you discover an offense has occurred, you should acknowledge it, own it, and then try to understand why so many people are upset, why you thought the statement was ok to make, and reconcile the difference between the two.
That is how you grow.
Unfortunately this guy will probably keep making the same mistake over and over until he hasn’t any fans left to hide behind.