Ballon d’Or host DJ Martin Solveig has apologized to the inaugural women’s winner Ada Hegerberg after asking her to twerk during the award ceremony.
After Hegerberg received the inaugural Ballon d’Or for women, the DJ said: “Do you know how to twerk?”
Hegerberg replied with a blunt “no”, and that ended the line of questioning.
The question alarmed and surprised many in the audience, including Kylian Mbappe, the winner of the newly-formed Kopa award for the best young player, who looked at the host disbelievingly.
The French DJ has now apologised in a series of tweet and labelled it “a joke”
He wrote: “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”
“This was a joke, probably a bad one, and I want to apologize for the one I may have offended. Sorry about that,”
Hegerberg has played down the scenario by saying she didn’t view it as sexual harassment.
She said the host came to him after to apologize and “He came to me after and he was really, really sad that it went that way. I didn’t think about it in that moment — I didn’t consider it as a sexual harassment or anything,” she said.
“I was just happy to get a dance and celebrate winning the Ballon d’Or, to be honest.”
Hegerberg, a Norwegian, was the highest goal scorer in the French League last season with 31 goals. She also scored 15 times in the Champions League.
Luka Modric won the men’s award after over a decade of Messi and Ronaldo dominance.
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