Posh London Night Club Turns Away 6 New Orleans Saints Players as ‘Too Urban’ to Enter

Mark Ingram
The Associated Press

A group of six New Orleans Saints players, including running back Mark Ingram, were refused entrance at the door of a posh British nightclub in London because they were “too urban.” But, the full story doesn’t appear to be a race-based issue.

Ingram, Sterling More, Vonn Bell, and a few other Saints players decided to take in London’s night life on Monday evening and at some point ended up in front of the exclusive Cirque Le Soir club in London’s Soho district.

When they tried to get in, though, the door keeper denied them entrance even though they had made a reservation ahead of time. Ingram claims that the bouncer told them they were “too urban” to get inside.

Naturally many assumed that the club was using “urban” as code for “race.” Ingram quickly Tweeted out his experience.

Ingram also Tweeted a text message conversation he had about the incident with a friend.

One of the earliest to report on the incident was the UK Guardian, but the paper went with the story before any statement was made by the nightclub.

Later than day, The Sun posted a statement by the establishment which noted that race had nothing to do with the door keepers denying entrance to the six players.

In fact, it appears that the club doesn’t like to admit large, all-male parties and the club also has a dress code that the players clearly did not satisfy if their tweet that night was any indication.

In its statement the Club emphatically denied that the players were turned away because of race:

All of the team at Cirque le Soir are really upset by the suggestion that there was anything malicious in our turning away of Mark Ingram and his friends from the club on Monday 27th February.

We proudly celebrate diversity, not only as part of our shows, but as part of who we are.

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 – as an exclusive members club, we cannot guarantee entry to anyone and full discretion always lies with the door, we particularly discourage casual dress code, intoxicated customers and male heavy entourages.

Discretion lies with our door staff and while we sympathise 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.

The club added that they would love to have Ingram back along with his choice of a female guest.

This same club has drawn criticism in the past for its exclusive door rules. Back in 2015 controversy erupted when a promoter issued messages to guests telling them not to bring fat people to the club.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.