French DJ Martin Solveig faced criticism last night after asking Ada Hegerberg, the winner of the inaugural women’s award at the Ballon d’Or, if she knew how to “twerk” live on stage.
Solveig, who was co-hosting the awards ceremony in Paris, asked the Norwegian footballer – who scored 15 goals for Lyon this year in the Champions League – if she wanted to dance in celebration and “knew how to twerk” moments after she won the landmark award.
Hegerberg, who scored in this year’s Champions League final to take Lyon to the winning spot, responded simply with, “no”.
Criticism of Solveig’s inappropriate behaviour was widespread across social media, with many claiming that it appeared as though his question had sullied a significant moment for Hegerberg.
The 42-year-old DJ took to twitter to apologise, writing, “Sincere apologies to the one I may have offended. My point was: I don’t invite women to twerk but dance on a Sinatra song. Watch the full sequence People who have followed me for 20 years know how respectful I am especially with women.”
Hegerberg later spoke on the issue, saying that she accepted his apology. “He came to me afterwards and as really sad that it went that way,” she said. “I didn’t really consider it sexual harassment or anything in the moment. I was just happy to do the dance and win the Ballon d’Or.”
Later, Solveig tweeted a photo of the two of them smiling together backstage after the initial incident. “I explained to @AdaStolsmo the buzz and she told me she understood it was a joke,” he wrote. “Nevertheless my apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Most importantly congratulations to Ada.”
After winning the award, Hegerberg expressed her pride at having won the Ballon d’Or’s first female award and shared some words of encouragement for other young women around the world. “It is a huge step for women's football and the work you have put down is such an important thing for women's football and together we will make a difference,” she said.
"I would like to end this speech, with some words to young girls all over the world. Please believe in yourself."
Sincere apologies to the one I may have offended. My point was : I don’t invite women to twerk but dance on a Sinatra song. Watch the full sequence People who have followed me for 20 years know how respectful I am especially with women pic.twitter.com/pnZX8qvl4R— Martin Solveig (@martinsolveig) December 3, 2018
I explained to @AdaStolsmo the buzz and she told me she understood it was a joke. Nevertheless my apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Most importantly congratulations to Ada pic.twitter.com/DATdg0TfQk— Martin Solveig (@martinsolveig) December 3, 2018
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