French DJ Martin Solveig apologised and said he was taken aback by the stormy reaction online after he asked the inaugural women´s Ballon D´Or victor Ada Hegerberg whether she could "twerk" live on stage.
Then award co-host Martin Solveig asked her a question in French, according to the Washington Post: "Do you know how to twerk?".
Solveig received plenty of feedback for his joke on social media and offered an apology following the show, and Hegerberg herself played down the incident.
"Sincere apologies to the one I may have offended".
"I want to say thanks to France Football". This comes from a distortion of my English level, and my English culture level which obviously isn't enough because I didn't mean to offend anyone.
Ada Hegerberg's star status on the world stage was confirmed as she won the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or on Monday, and yet back home in Norway she also stands out for her ongoing absence from the national team ahead of the World Cup.
Hegerberg said no. The camera quickly flashed to French star Kylian Mbappe who appeared stunned at what the DJ had asked.
But even as others held up the moment as yet another example of sexism in sports, Hegerberg said she didn't view it that way.
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Speaking to BBC Sport after the ceremony, Hegerberg explained her side of the situation and claimed that Solveig had already approached her to apologise.
Solveig confirmed that he spoke to Hegerberg after the ceremony.
"What questions did they ask [Kylian] Mbappe and [men's victor Luka] Modric?"
He concluded his message by referring to a "level of sexism unreal". And to everyone who thinks I'm overreacting and it was just a joke ... it wasn't. We danced a little, I had the Golden Ball, and this is the most important for me. I didn't really consider it sexual harassment or anything in the moment.
Hegerberg scored in this year's Champions League final against Wolfsburg and was one of eight Lyon players named among the nominees.
We probably would have responded in a much less classy manner, but that's a testament to how much sexism she has presumably had to deal with as a female footballer. "I get to dance and celebrate winning the Ballon d'or to be honest".
Solveig's sexist remark came moments after Hegerberg closed a powerful acceptance speech with an inspiring note, imploring "young girls all over the world" to "please believe in yourself". Can't a woman just win an award in peace?
"Women's football is taking huge strides and questions and comments like this take away from those strides we have taken. I don't think the respect has been there", she told the AP.