Ada Hegerberg, first female winner of football's prestigious Ballon d’Or, was asked to twerk onstage prompting widespread anger
Hegerberg, who is a vocal advocate for respecting women athletes, appeared disgusted by the bizarre question and responded to the host with a firm no as she proceeds to turn away from the camera
Norwegian soccer player Ada Hegerberg made history on Monday when she became the first woman to receive the Ballon d’Or, a prestigious award which honors the best soccer players in the world. However, it wasn't long before the trailblazer's precious moment was soured by a downright insulting question from one of the award ceremony's hosts, DJ Martin Solveig, who asked her if she could twerk?
Hegerberg, who is a vocal advocate for respecting women athletes, appeared disgusted by the bizarre question and responded to the host with a firm "no" as she proceeded to turn away from the camera, before reluctantly agreeing to dance to another song with main host David Ginola.
The Ballon d’Or, which has been presented to soccer stars annually since 1956, for the first time this year was designated to have both male and female recipients, making it a historic moment for women athletes.
Martin Solveig really asked Ada Hegerberg, the first ever Ballon D'Or winner, to twerk. The absolute disrespect bruh. pic.twitter.com/Mtc5DBjS7a— A West (@ayyy_west) December 3, 2018
Reports state that shortly after the gaffe at the award ceremony, the French DJ issued an apology in a series of tweets, and said that he did not mean to offend anyone through his remarks and called his question to the soccer star "a joke."
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
"This was a joke, probably a bad one, and I want to apologize for the one I may have offended. Sorry about that," Solveig wrote on Twitter.
When Hegerberg was later asked about her response to his apology, the soccer star said that she did not view the comment as sexual harassment.
"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."
Meanwhile, Hegerberg, while talking to The Associated Press on Monday, had said that she will boycott playing for Norway next June at the Woman's World Cup in France because of the disrespect she believes women athletes face in her homeland.
The star sportswoman hasn't played for the national team since it crashed out of the group stage of the 2017 Women’s European Championship.
Hegerberg, who helped Lyon to the French title and Champions League, has been fiercely critical of the funding Norway's Football Federation gives to its female teams, said: "A lot of things need to be done to make the conditions better for women who play football. It’s all about how we respect women’s football. I don’t think the respect has been there.”