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Solveig slammed by stars after asking Hegerberg to ‘twerk’ on stage

This is not an apology! DJ Martin Solveig slammed by stars after asking first female Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg to ‘twerk’ on stage

  • French DJ Martin Solveig sparked outrage as he asked Ada Hegerberg to ‘twerk’
  • The women’s Ballon d’Or winner was visibly stunned and was left unimpressed
  • Audience members including PSG striker Kylian Mbappe looked on in shock
  • Solveig later tweeted an apology and said Hegerberg ‘understood it was a joke’ 
  • But other stars have slammed Solveig and suggested he had not apologised 

Stars from women’s football and the rest of the sporting world have condemned Ballon d’Or host Martin Solveig for his apology to Ada Hegerberg.

The 23-year-old Lyon striker was announced as the first ever winner of the women’s Ballon d’Or, which recognises the world’s best player, by former France international David Ginola.

She also gave an empowering speech to encourage more girls to play football.

However, as the Norway international was leaving the stage, French DJ and co-host Martin Solveig, who had been playing music during the ceremony and also danced with Hegerberg to Frank Sinatra, asked her if she could twerk. 

Stars from the sporting world have condemned Ballon d’Or host Martin Solveig’s apology

Solveig was at the centre of a sexism row after asking Ada Hegerberg if she can ‘twerk’


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The three-time women’s Champions League winner laughed awkwardly as she turned away from the DJ and abruptly said ‘no’ before walking off.  

Solveig posted a video on his Twitter account attempting to apologise to Hegerberg but his words were dismissed by a number of stars of the game.

Alongside a video apologising further to Hegerberg, Solveig appeared to apologise to those who were offended on Twitter while defending himself: ‘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.’

After the event, Hegerberg told reporters that she accepted the apology from the 42-year-old.

Lianne Sanderson of Juventus and England tweeted: ‘This guy… this is not an apology and has nothing to do with the language barrier. 

‘Well done @AdaStolsmo keep shinning (sic) on the world stage… and I hope this guys ignorance will not overshadow your evening. Enjoy.’

Her team-mate Eniola Aluko added: ‘Pathetic apology. Everyone who has an ounce of decency and respect for women is offended you k***.’

United States national team player Lindsey Horan wrote: ‘This is an absolute joke. Unbelievable. She just won the first ever Ballon D’Or for women. @AdaStolsmo congrats and you do not deserve this bs.’

Pundit and former Arsenal star Alex Scott said: ‘To young girls all over the world please believe in yourself’ @AdaStolsmo. Let’s not forget this important message from Ada’s speech tonight���� #BalonDOr’.

Chelsea’s Fran Kirby also highlighted the speech and wrote: ‘what we should be talking about’.

Meanwhile, former Swindon player Jan Aage Fjortoft listen how Solveig could respond properly. ‘1. Apologize to @AdaStolsmo 2. Language-problem? You said it in French. 3. This was not an apology- it was an explanation. 4. “I was out of order. I respect women. Sorry” – that is an apology’. 

A clip of the exact moment she was asked soon went viral on social media with the reaction of baffled French footballer Kylian Mbappe, also highlighting the surprise at Solveig’s question ‘Est-ce que tu sais twerk?’ – ‘Can you twerk?’. 

Mbappe won the Raymond Kopa Trophy awarded to the best young player. Luka Modric won the main men’s award.

The Lyon striker, who won the women’s Ballon d’Or award, was left unimpressed by the DJ

Hegerberg poses with the honour on the Champs Elysees in front of the Arc de Triomphe

Hegerberg accepted the apology and was quoted on skysports.com saying: ‘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.’

But the incident drew a slew of criticism. 

Tennis star Andy Murray spoke out against the ‘twerk’ comments on his Instagram story describing it as ‘another example of the ridiculous sexism that still exists in sport’.  

An unimpressed Murray wrote: ‘Why do women still have to put up with that s***? What questions did they ask Mbappe and Modric.

‘I’d imagine it had something to do with football. And 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.’ 

Kylian Mbappe looked on in disbelief after Hegerberg was asked by Solveig if she could twerk


Tennis star Andy Murray hit out at the comment and called it ‘ridiculous sexism that still exists’

British tennis player Andy Murray was unimpressed, writing: ‘Why do women still have to put up with that s***? What questions did they ask Mbappe and Modric’

Hegerberg’s speech when she accepted the Ballon d’Or 

‘It is fantastic. I don’t have words. This is unbelievable. It’s a big moment for me. 

‘This is a great moment for me. I want to say thank you to my teammates. It would not have been possible without you, thank you! Thanks to the technical staff, and to my club. And to one man in particular, Jean-Michel Aulas, our president. Thank you for everything you do for women’s football.’

She ended by saying: ‘Please, believe in yourself!’

 

Three-time Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton was one of those to condemn his actions, commenting on a video of the incident, writing ‘Wtf?’

It was a significant moment for the women’s game and viewers were left angry that the moment was spoiled by Solveig and host David Ginola as they asked if she wanted to perform. 

She swiftly replied ‘no’ before returning to the award and paying thanks to those who helped her throughout the season. 

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. 

Solveig later offered his ‘sincere apologies’ to anyone he had offended and insisted he was always ‘respectful’ with women 

Hegerberg said in her speech after accepting the award: ‘It is fantastic. I don’t have words. This is unbelievable. It’s a big moment for me. 

‘This is a great moment for me. I want to say thank you to my teammates. It would not have been possible without you, thank you! Thanks to the technical staff, and to my club. And to one man in particular, Jean-Michel Aulas, our president. Thank you for everything you do for women’s football.’

She ended by saying: ‘Please, believe in yourself!’ 

Twitter users also condemned Solveig’s behaviour. 

One wrote: ‘What kind of question is this? And why are these guys laughing? This is disgusting, I’m so sorry for Ada Hegerberg.’

Another wrote: I can’t even. Here is Ada, winning a deserved award for her talent as a footballer. Respected by her peers, male & female at the ceremony. Historic, being the first women’s Ballon d’Or award. But in that moment, a man tried to diminish her. And we all saw.’ 

Her sister Andrine, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, was left ‘absolutely speechless’ at her sister’s achievements. 

Hegerberg has won nine major titles in four years at Lyon and took the award ahead of England internationals Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby.  


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