Mark Ingram And A Handful Of Saints Got Turned Away From A Nightclub In London For Being "Too Urban"
Soooo, maybe time to put that oft-ballyhooed expansion to London on the back burner for awhile, no? I probably wouldn't be all that welcoming to American footballers if a vast majority of my experience watching them consisted of hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars either, but outright prejudice from a seemingly well known establishment? Probably not the best look during an NFL trial run.
Now, I'm not going to allege that the British harbor ill will towards African Americans because - quite frankly - I don't know shit about the British other than that they drive on the wrong side of the road and they can get away with saying pretty much anything because of their awesome accents. Unfortunately, those sweet voices don't serve them too well in text convos where the person on the international end is being way too goddamn cavalier while having a casual conversation that it littered with obvious racial overtones. This guy legitimately thought that following up a fucking sad face with what I consider the civilized equivalent of saying "sorry darkies" was an acceptable transition, so consider me skeptical of his understanding of cross-cultural communication.
Granted, it would be stupid to generalize the progressiveness of a region based on one interaction gone ridiculously awry. Even the professional athletes that were victims of blatant racism - that was conveyed in such a watered down, 'PG' form that it's almost more insulting to the intelligence of the target than if the culprits had just been straightforward about it - didn't let one experience ruin their time in the United Kingdom. Far be it for me to say they shouldn't have to travel back there to play on the type of turf that we here in the United States let our dogs relieve themselves on when they still seem pretty excited by the prospect of doing so.
Still, I can't help but think it would be wise to 'CC' Roger Goodell on this story and let him know that the players whose safety he cares ohhhh-so-much about are being denied reservations for being "too urban" in a city whose interests he's constantly looking out for. Could be something that he might want to mildly consider if he ever gets serious about "urbanizing" overseas.
Credit to Mark Ingram, Vonn Bell, Sterling Moore, B.W. Webb, and friends for - at least publicly - laughing off discrimination at it's most boorish and turning it into a hilarious strings of tweets instead of treating it like an indictment of an entire country. That bad situation could have been made a hell of a lot worse, but - in the face of bigotry - six big, scary, burly black men handled themselves like true professionals in every sense of the word.