Saints’ Mark Ingram: London Club Denied Teammates and Me Entry for Being ‘Too Urban’

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Twitter.)

In advance of their October 1 game at London’s Wembley Stadium, running back Mark Ingram and some of his New Orleans Saints teammates paid a visit to the city.

While the overall vacation was “amazing,” one experience left a bad taste in their mouths and in the mouths of NFL players and fans tracking the story from the states.

According to Ingram, nightclub Cirque le Soir in the Soho neighborhood of London turned he and teammates Sterling Moore, Vonn Bell, and B.W. Webb, as well as two other men, away from entering the club, claiming their party was “too urban.”

The back detailed the incident on Twitter.

He immediately received messages of support from fans, teammates, and other members of the NFL family.

Cirque le Soir, however, denies Ingram’s account. According to the nightclub, it’s their policy not to admit all-male groups.

“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,” Cirque le Soir said in its statement. “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.”

Despite the incident, Ingram expressed excitement over his trip to London.

The Saints will play the Miami Dolphins in the city on October 1.

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