Ada Hegerberg ‘twerk’ scandal: Martin Solveig apologises for asking first ever female Ballon d’Or winner to twerk on stage
The Ballon d’Or co-host has apologised after sparking outrage when he asked the winner of the first ever women’s award Ada Hegerberg to twerk live on stage.
Hegerberg, 23, appeared embarrassed when asked by Martin Solveig if she wanted to dance in celebration and if she “knew how to twerk” at the ceremony in Paris.
The Norway international and three-time women’s Champions League winner abruptly said “no” before walking away during the gala on Monday night.
French DJ Solveig’s comments immediately sparked controversy, with many calling the remarks “sexist”, before Solveig apologised on Twitter shortly afterwards.
“Sincere apologies to the one I may have offended,” he said.
“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.”
After the event, Hegerberg told reporters that she accepted the apology from the 42-year-old DJ.
She said: “He came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way. I didn’t really think about it at the time to be honest.
“I didn’t really consider it as sexual harassment or anything in the moment. I was just happy to do the dance and win the Ballon d’Or to be honest.”
Three-time Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton was one of those to condemn Solveig’s remarks, commenting on a video of the incident, writing “Wtf?”
Solveig confirmed that he spoke to Hegerberg after the ceremony. He posted a picture of the pair embracing and wrote: “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.”
England defender and Lyon team-mate Lucy Bronze, who came sixth in the inaugural women’s award, believed the incident was just a joke.
“The DJ asked each person that won what their dance was but she can twerk, she was lying. It was more of a joke of making her dance,” Bronze told BBC Sport.
On receiving the award, Hegerberg said: “I would like to say a huge thanks to France Football, for letting us have this opportunity to have this award.
“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.
“I would like to end this speech, with some words to young girls all over the world. Please believe in yourself.”