Ada Hegerberg became the first woman to win the Ballon d'Or this week, the most coveted trophy in professional soccer. It was the first year that France Football added a women's category. Luka Modric of Croatia won the men's contest. He and Hederberg now join the prestigious company of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have dominated the event for years. It was Hederberg's time to bask in the glory, but unfortunately her accomplishment was overshadowed almost as soon as she picked up the trophy. While onstage after she accepted the award, French DJ Martin Solveig, for some reason, asked her if she knew how to "twerk."
She responded with a classy, "no."
Pro soccer player Ada Hegerberg was asked if she can twerk moments after winning a prestigious award pic.twitter.com/I8wTVNHf6e— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 4, 2018
The stunned looks on the audience's face said it all.
Other professional soccer players like Lindsey Horan, a player for the U.S. Women's National Team, and sports analysts sounded off on Solveig's "bs."
Absolute trash: French DJ Martin Solveig asks Ada Hegerberg to twerk after receiving the first women's Ballon d'Or award. (Love her response, though.) This is the crap female athletes deal with on a daily basis around the world.pic.twitter.com/y2TLe3v4u9— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) December 3, 2018
Seeing the backlash, Solveig apologized to Hederberg by posting a public apology. In the video, Solveig explains that he "didn't mean" to offend anyone. He says the confusion can be explained by his poor English and poor understanding of English culture. He implored people to take the full context of the evening into account.
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 made a joke, probably a poor one," he admitted. "I want to apologize for the one I may have offended. Sorry about that."
Again, observers, including another professional female player, weren't that quick to accept his apology.
NOPE! Not buying it. Sorry, we’re not stupid. You should’ve done better. Stop making excuses for blatant sexist behavior. We’d respect you bit more if you just admit what you were doing and pledge to learn from this. You can’t get away with this type of ??anymore.— Asha Dahya (@Ashadahya) December 4, 2018
Apologies accept blame or say I’m sorry. Why didn’t you ask Luka to twerk also? Sadly, you stole one of the best moments in Ada’s life. Try again.— Heather Mitts (@heathermitts) December 4, 2018
Solveign shared a second apology with more information, noting that he and Hegerberg later danced together to Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon" as part of the ceremony.
At only 23 years old, Hegerberg's future in football looks bright. She is only 10 goals away from being the all time top scorer in the women's Champions League, and she had another impressive season with France's Olympique Lyonnais team. In her Ballon d'Or acceptance speech, she told young girls to "please, believe in yourself."