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Mark Ingram and several of his fellow Saints players, including cornerbacks Sterling Moore and B.W. Webb and safety Vonn Bell, are in London right now taking in all the sights and sounds of the city. And according to Ingram, they have, for the most part, had a great time on their trip to London, where they are scheduled to play against the Dolphins next October. But early Tuesday morning, the group found itself on the receiving end of what appeared to be some pretty blatant discrimination.
Ingram took to his Twitter account at around 2 a.m. London time and revealed he and his teammates were denied entry into the circus-themed nightclub Cirque Le Soir, even though they had a reservation. Ingram told his Twitter followers that bouncers told the players they couldn’t come in because they looked "too urban." Here are the tweets Ingram shared:
Ingram’s teammates retweeted the tweets he sent out, and before long, other NFL players started chiming in, too:
Ingram eventually pointed out that, outside of the incident at the club, he has enjoyed his time in London:
But he also made light of what happened by starting a #TooUrban hashtag and laughing at the ridiculousness of him and his teammates getting turned away from the club for being "too urban":
Plenty of people also sent tweets in the club's direction demanding an explanation:
The club did finally get around to issuing a statement late Tuesday morning. According to TMZ Sports, the club claimed it did not turn Ingram and his teammates away for being "too urban." Rather, it said that it has a policy not to accept "male heavy entourages."
"We proudly celebrate diversity, not only as part of our shows, but as part of who we are," the statement said. "We would not dismiss anyone as 'too urban' and we would not turn anyone away on the basis of their ethnicity, sexuality, or any other characteristic—other than those expressed in our door policy...Discretion lies with our door staff, and while we sympathize with Mark and his friends, we fully support our employees' right to challenge groups that do not adhere to our door policy. Admitting an all-male group goes against our policy and is clearly stated on Facebook and on all reservation confirmation emails."
That sounds like a different explanation than the one Ingram and his teammates received. Stay tuned to see how they respond to the statement.