Before I say anything else, let me just state unequivocally that former Alabama and current Saints running back Mark Ingram is a class act. And you'll see it in the way he handled this situation at a London nightclub.
A few Saints players, including Mark Ingram, headed to England in advance of the Saints' October 1st game in London. But then, they headed over to a nightclub where they had reservations. No go! These Saints players were all denied entry for being "too urban."
So imagine, you're having a perfectly nice time representing your workplace ahead of a big event across the pond. And then this happens? Mark Ingram and his Saints buddies have every right to be angry, but they're handling it with a whole lot more class than the nightclub they were visiting. A series of tweets following this incident keeps pouring on the love to England:
There's no doubt that throwing an Alabama football hero out of a club for being "too urban" will rile some Crimson Tide fans. But it's at least good to see that this is the only example Mark Ingram and the other Saints players say they've experienced on their trip.
But on another level, I've always wondered about the phrase "urban" when used to describe African-Americans. I hear it a lot more than I should actually, usually by well-meaning people who are uncomfortable identifying people by race ("he's very urban"). The definition of urban, from dictionary.com is:
1. of, relating to, or designating a city or town.
2. living in a city.
3. characteristic of or accustomed to cities; citified:
I'm a white guy who's lived in cities my whole life, so by the word's actual definition, I'm urban. And believe me, I am urban. While I enjoy the occasional quiet of the country, I thrive on city life.
Can we all simply agree that we don't need code words to talk about others? Like Mark Ingram and his Saints teammates wouldn't understand that "too urban" was code for black? If they could afford the outrageous cover charge, and they weren't violating a dress code, let 'em in.
I know, this is probably one of those types of clubs that limit entry to just the young and beautiful people (I'm almost positive that they wouldn't let me in either). But "too urban?" Sorry, that's got no place in the 21st century.
The club, by the way, has hosted celebrities like Lady Gaga, Leo DiCaprio, Rihanna, and Kanye West.
So far, the club has declined to comment.