It was supposed to be a night of many firsts, a celebration that was more inclusive and which (finally) acknowledged the achievements of women in a sport traditionally entrenched in testosterone and machismo. Three guess on what it ended up being.
Yes, Croatian Luka Modric did finally win football’s pre-eminent prize for individual achievement, finally ending the decade-long duopoly of it being awarded to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. That was the one positive note.
After asking the first woman to win the Ballon d'Or if she twerked even as she was accepting her trophy, French DJ Martin Solveig then said sorry.
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) December 3, 2018
Even though Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg said she hadn't been offended by the twerking question during Monday's award ceremony, Solveig still apologized on Twitter after his comment caused a social media stir.
He tweeted, "I didn't know that this could be seen as such an offense," and added: "This was a joke, probably a bad one."
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
A clip from the ceremony of the DJ asking the 23-year-old Norwegian if she could twerk and her responding "Non" in French quickly racked up millions of views. People took to Twitter to voice their outrage over the blatant sexism of the request.
Somebody even changed Solveig's Wikipedia page to more accurately represent his perceived mentality.
Hegerberg said Solveig also apologized to her personally, even though "I wasn't upset."
She cheerfully said, "I got to dance a bit and I got the Ballon d'Or."
(With Reuters inputs)