Martin Solveig fucked up bad. During the Ballon D’or ceremony today where Croatian Luca Modric was named the best male football player in the world, Frenchman Kylian Mbappe was named the best young player in the world and Norwegian international and Lyon star forward Ada Hegerberg was named the best female football player in the world, Martin Solveig, a presenter for part of the night, managed to grab headlines. After Hegerberg nabbed the trophy and gave a moving speech on inspiring young girls to play the game around the world, Solveig asked her if she knew how to twerk. She replied "no."
Before you think that this is a four-second clip taken out of context, remember this is a ceremony celebrating the best soccer (football) players in the world. They aren’t dancing, let along twerking. And you can bet that Luca Modric or Kylian Mbappe weren’t asked if they know how to twerk. Mbappe is the one in the video at the end with the shocked reaction to this.
In an apology video, Solveig says he is “amazed” by the reaction online and it is a “distortion” of his English level and English cultural level, even though he asked the question in French, asking “tu sais twerker?” He says “I didn’t mean to offend anyone and I didn’t know that this could be seen as such an offense.” He notes that they danced to Sinatra.
Why you would propose twerking to Sinatra is beyond anyone’s wildest logic, especially at an event like this. This is the type of garbage female athletes have to deal with all of the time with worse pay, worse facilities and horrible sexists comments online and in person on a daily bases. In a televised celebration of the sport, one would think that this wouldn't happen, but it still did.
If there is one thing to remember about this night Hegerberg, it is her speech. Watch it once, twice and three times.
Solveig has released another apology. He says that he was asked to prepare a song for each winner (here is a video of Solveig and Mbappe dancing) and chose Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon" for Hegerberg. "The twerking comment was used in contrast to the song I had prepared for her, however, this sentiment was misunderstood and has sadly caused offense," he says.