Ada Hegerberg became the winner of the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018. On the night, which marked her biggest achievement, the host of the ceremony mockingly asked Ada, ‘If she could twerk.’
This generated furious reactions from the footballing world and sports stars from all across the world condemned such an inhuman statement. But the question raised a valid point. How far do women have to go to be put in the same light as men are in sports?
Recently, another such incident came under the scanner when a Twitter thread compared football players Alisha Lehmann and Ana Markovic for their bodies. The entire thread was filled with sleazy comments and remarks that have disgusted many.
Who is Alisha Lehmann?
Playing for Aston Villa in the Women’s Super League in England, Alisha has been turning heads with her performances lately.
After playing for BSC YB Frauen in Switzerland, Alisha moved to West Ham United where in her first season she racked up six goals in 20 appearances in the Women’s Super League.
At the age of 17, Alisha also played for the Swiss national youth team and was appreciated for her performances at the World Youth Championship in 2018.
While she has been efficient in her club duties, Alisha has also managed to become a regular for her nation Switzerland. But I guess, even such qualifications are not held in the highest of echelons under the male gaze.
Who is Ana Markovic
The woman next to her in that abysmal Twitter thread is Ana Markovic, a 22-year-old Croatian footballer currently playing for Grasshopper in the Swiss Women’s Super League.
Ana holds Cristiano Ronaldo in high regard and cites him as an inspiration for her to pursue her footballing ambitions. Apart from football, Ana is also involved in a marketing business which she handles competently away from the football pitch.
Despite these two women embracing their sport and coming to terms with their capabilities as a footballer, the footballing fans couldn’t help but get their gaze away from the bodies of these women.
What Ada Hegerberg faced four years ago on that pedestal in Paris when she collected her esteemed Ballon d’Or is still prevalent and rampant, especially on the internet among football fans.
In the sport’s interest, the football fans need to check themselves so that they don’t end up spoiling or polluting the beautiful game.