The London nightclub that New Orleans Saints' Mark Ingram claimed to have turned his group away for being "too urban" said it proudly celebrates diversity and the running back's party was refused entry as it does not admit "male-heavy entourages."
Ingram said he was not allowed into Cirque le Soir along with Sterling Moore, B.W. Webb, Vonn Bell and two others on Monday because they were told they were "six big guys" that are "too urban".
Cirque le Soir responded on Tuesday in a statement that read: "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."
The club added that it would be "very happy" to welcome Ingram and his friends – male and female – to the club next time they are in London.
That might be on October 1, when the Saints face the Miami Dolphins at Wembley.