This week, ESPN+ exclusively debuted a new documentary, “My Name is Ada Hegerberg,” on the Norwegian star soccer player who opted out of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
At the time, Hegerberg’s decision left sports fans in a quandary. The 2018 Ballon d’Or Award winner was the top player in the world, having led her Olympique Lyonnais Féminine club team to three straight UEFA Champions League titles.
Driven by her protest against the unequal treatment of the Norwegian Women’s National Team, Hegerberg stood her ground. She chose not to play on the biggest stage in her sport, and now she is telling her story on ESPN+ and ESPN.
In a companion piece to the documentary, writer Sarah Spain’s essay on espnW aptly captures Hegerberg’s struggle.
“Ada Hegerberg is a fascinating study in modern female sports stardom,” said Spain, who has become a leading voice on the topic of equity in sports. “On the one hand, she’s built for the international stage – insanely talented, multilingual, charming, beautiful, and outspoken. But she’s also well aware of the challenges that come with pointing out inequalities in sport, and knows how a charismatic female star can be painted as an angry scold if she stops smiling long enough to speak the truth.”
The Hegerberg documentary is just the latest example of ESPN+ storytelling that focuses on equality in women’s sports. Last summer, the popular sports streamlining service featured a five-part series about U.S. Women’s National Team star Alex Morgan’s soccer journey and struggle for equity in The Equalizer Featuring Alex Morgan.
In addition to original content, ESPN+ is the exclusive U.S. home to Division 1 Féminine, the top-division women’s soccer league in France, which features Paris St. Germain versus Lyon today.