A French DJ has apologized for asking a soccer star if she would twerk after receiving an award for being the world’s best female player.
Martin Solveig presented the first-ever Women’s Ballon D’Or to 23-year-old Ada Hegerberg in Paris on Monday, and sparked outrage by asking her: “Do you know how to twerk?”
Solveig then asked a visibly-uncomfortable Hegerberg to instead dance with him to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” to which she complied before leaving the stage, according to NBC News.
After significant social media backlash, Solveig recorded a video saying he intended the comment as a joke and that he is sorry to those he may have offended.
“I’m a little amazed and astonished by what I’m reading on the internet. Of course I didn’t want to offend anyone,” he said.
“People who have followed me for 20 years know how respectful I am especially with women,” he added in a tweet.
Hegerberg told reporters after the ceremony that Solveig approached her after the event and “was really sad that it went that way.”
“I didn’t think about it at that moment,” she said, according to NBC News. “I didn’t consider it as sexual harassment or anything.”
Among those calling Solveig out over the comment was UK tennis champion Andy Murray, who wrote on Instagram: “Why do [women] still have to put up with that s—?,” adding that the “level of sexism is unreal” in sports.
This article originally appeared on The Hill