During the Ballon D'Or ceremony, Ada Hegerberg, the first ever woman to receive the prestigious award, was asked whether she could twerk by French DJ Martin Solveig. To this, Hegerberg calmly replied 'no'.
Later, Hegerberg assured that Solveig had regretted the question in retrospect.
'He was very sorry because he believes people got it all wrong. But I ended up with a waltz and won Ballon d'Or, so I don't think much about it', Hegerberg told Norwegian TV2.
Still, the damage had already been done, and many journalists, fellow female footballers, and social media users found that it was highly unbecoming to ask a lady about a dance move that involves suggestive shaking of one's behind, even more so at a prestigious award ceremony.
'Two steps forward. Several steps back', British sports journalist Leah Harding tweeted, hailing Hegerberg's achievement.
Norway's @AdaStolsmo is the first woman to win a #BallonDor since the ceremony started in 1956. A major achievement for women and sports. And to celebrate, the DJ asked her to twerk.— Leah Harding (@LeahHardingAJE) 3 декабря 2018 г.
No. Not ok. Ever.
Two steps forward. Several steps back. #AJNewsGrid pic.twitter.com/W1yuK3oI1c
US reporter Susannah Collins went so far as to call Martin Solveig 'trash', describing his behaviour as 'disgraceful'.
This is disgraceful and yet why am I NOT surprised. SMH. Martin Solveig, you are trash. https://t.co/hZFKVhABoP— Susannah Collins (@susannahcollins) 3 декабря 2018 г.
Hegerberg's fellow female footballers minced no words either.
'For the first time, this prize is awarded to a woman. Then this damn lowly idiot destroys the moment', Johanna Almgren of team Sweden tweeted.
'This is so stupid, so basic and so simple. He has one job tonight and it is playing some discs. Don't let it take the shine away from the girl's big trophy tonight' Norwegian TV2 football expert Jesper Mathisen said.
'Totally unprofessional, and totally disrespectful to behave in this way', TV2 football expert Mina Finstad Berg raged.
Martin Solveig himself offered his 'sincere apologies', adding that he doesn't invite women to twerk, but 'dance on a Sinatra song'.
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) 3 декабря 2018 г.
He also added that he duly explained to Hegerberg that his twerking proposition was a 'joke'.
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 pic.twitter.com/DATdg0TfQk— Martin Solveig (@martinsolveig) 3 декабря 2018 г.
Hegerberg won the inaugural award after an impressive season at French club Lyon. The 23-year-old Norwegian scored in this year's Champions League final as Lyon defeated German team Wolfsburg 4-1.