Mark Ingram and several of his New Orleans Saints teammates were turned away from a nightclub in London on Monday night, and early indications were that the decision was racially motivated. The club, however, says that is not what happened.
In a statement released on Tuesday, a representative from Cirque le Soir in Soho says Ingram and his friends were denied access because they had too many men in their group and not enough women — not because they were “too urban.”
“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,” the club said. “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.
“… 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.”
If that is indeed the reason Ingram and company were turned away, it doesn’t explain where the phrase “too urban” came from or why it was allegedly used.
It certainly isn’t unheard of for nightclubs to balance the ratio of male-to-female patrons, though the Saints players and their friends were angry that they had reservations and were given a different reason for being stopped at the door. The truth about what actually happened likely lies somewhere in the middle.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram and three of his teammates say they were denied entry into a nightclub in London Monday night after being told they were “too urban.”
Ingram, who is visiting England with Sterling Moore, B.W. Webb, Vonn Bell and two others, says he and his teammates and friends had a reservation for bottle service at Cirque le Soir in Soho. When they arrived at the club, they were allegedly told they looked “too urban” to be allowed inside.
As The Guardian notes, Cirque le Soir is an upscale club that has been visited by celebrities like Lady Gaga, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kanye West. There are typically strict dress codes at such venues, so it’s unclear if the staff will claim that is why Ingram and his teammates were turned away.
The Saints are one of eight NFL teams that will travel to London for a game next season, and Ingram said he is still looking forward to the experience. Other NFL players weighed in on the incident on Twitter.
Mark Ingram went nuts on the sidelines after being pulled from the goal line late in the New Orleans Saints’ win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Ingram had converted a 3rd and 1 situation from the Arizona four-yard line late in the game, giving the Saints first and goal from the two. But he was lifted for Tim Hightower, who scored on the next play to give New Orleans a 48-34 lead.
There was a report saying that Ingram was upset because he could have earned $100,000 for hitting an incentive bonus in his contract with the TD, but that is not correct; he has bonuses based on yards gained, not touchdowns.
Still, if Ingram was upset because he got a touchdown “vultured”, that would make plenty of sense.
Former Alabama star Mark Ingram was an honorary captain for Monday night’s BCS National Championship Game, and a photo of him standing next to Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry went viral for a very obvious reason — the size difference.
ESPN’s Jemele Hill was one of many people who called attention to the staggering height disparity between Alabama’s two Heisman Trophy-winning tailbacks.
For whatever reason, Ingram did not appreciate what was clearly a light-hearted remark from Hill. When a Twitter follower called his attention to Hill’s tweet, the Saints running back fired back by insulting Hill’s looks.
Ingram shouldn’t be insecure about his height, especially since it didn’t seem to bother NFL teams and hasn’t stopped him from becoming a great player. And based on what he said about his relationship with Henry, he shouldn’t mind being compared to the current Tide running back. That seemed a bit harsh.
As awesome as Alabama’s football program is, it’s hard to believe they did not have a Heisman Trophy winner in program history until Mark Ingram won his in 2009. Derrick Henry gave them a second when he captured the trophy in 2015.
Both are running backs from the Crimson Tide, so they have a lot in common, though they came a few years apart. Still, Ingram and Henry have a friendship.
Prior to Monday’s championship game, Ingram talked about how he tried to help Henry.
“Just try to be there for him any way that he needed me. I’ve known about him since he was a highly-touted recruit coming in,” Ingram told ESPN. “We got a lot closer this year with him being in the Heisman race, Heisman contention. I just try to give him positive advice. Just let him pick my brain — any questions he has, I’m there for him. That’s what the Alabama family is all about.
“He’s 6’4″, 240, he’s fast, he’s quick. He’s just a physical specimen out there. He’s a special player, a hard worker, a hard worker, and he deserves all the success he has coming to him.”
I'm proud of this man Derick Henry, if y'all only knew how hard he worked for everything he has received this far. Congrats man.
This is exactly what we’ve heard about Henry for a while. The guy seems to be very humble, hard-working, and likable. Bama fans will also love to hear that Henry and Ingram have a good relationship and attribute it to the Bama family.
Ingram has been playing through a shoulder ailment in recent weeks, but the team has given no indication that it is serious. However, this could help explain why he has received just 26 carries in the past three games combined. Ingram typically receives 15-20 carries per game as the Saints’ top back.
It was widely assumed that game flow had to do with Ingram’s decrease in workload, as New Orleans has been blown out a couple of times in recent weeks. The shoulder injury could very well have something to do with it.
Mark Ingram will be back with the New Orleans Saints next season after reaching agreement on a new deal with the only team for whom he has played.
According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Ingram’s contract with New Orleans is for $16 million over four years.
Ingram started off his career slowly after being drafted in the first round in 2011. He split carries his first three seasons and never topped 602 rushing yards or five touchdowns in a season. Last year he posted his finest season after finally becoming the team’s featured back. He led the Saints with 964 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns.