Paris – The co-host of the Ballon d’Or award ceremony apologized on Monday after he was blasted online for asking the winner of the first ever women’s award if she knew how to “twerk.”
As Ada Hegerberg accepted the first-ever women’s Ballon d’Or, she noted it was a “huge step for women’s football” and encouraged young girls to believe in themselves.
Moments after the Lyon and Norway striker received the prize, event co-host DJ Martin Solveig asked her if she knew how to “twerk,” to which she responded “no” and turned away from the podium as he laughed off her answer.
“Twerking” is a kind of sexually provocative dance, which according to the Oxford English Dictionary “emphasizes the performer’s posterior.”
The French DJ later tweeted that he was “amazed” by the outraged reaction.
“This was a joke, probably a bad one, and I want to apologize for the ones I may have offended,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.
He then said Hegerberg “understood it was a joke” in a post accompanied by a picture of the two together.
Hegerberg, who last season helped Lyon to the French title and Champions League with 31 and 15 goals respectively, confirmed to journalists that the DJ apologized.
“[Solveig] came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way. I didn’t really think about it at the time,” Hegerberg said.
Three-time tennis Grand Slam champion Andy Murray wrote on Instagram the incident was “another example of the ridiculous sexism that still exists in sport.”
“To everyone who thinks people are overreacting and it was just a joke… it wasn’t. I’ve been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal,” he added. (dpa)