Briggs suspects race behind Bears' nightclub snub
October 28, 2010 2:11 PM | 10 Comments | UPDATED STORY
By Vaughn McClure
Linebacker Lance Briggs said a Chicago nightclub's decision to deny entry to 20-plus Bears players Monday night might have had something to do with race.
Briggs confirmed a Sun-Times report stating a group of Bears, of varied races, was turned down at Angels and Kings nightclub, located at 710 N. Clark.
"It probably was," Briggs, who is black, said Thursday when asked if he thought the snub was racially motivated. "I didn't get all the details and everything was hearsay, but there shouldn't have been a problem with any of us getting in.
"Someone called beforehand to say that a bunch of us were coming out. If it's not a private event or you're not promoting it, there shouldn't be a problem."
Brian Urlacher's brother, Casey (who is white), set up the event as part of the team's "rookie night," celebration. He reserved four tables at Angels and Kings that were supposed to be roped off in the V.I.P. section.
After dining at Joe's Stone Crab, Briggs, Casey Urlacher, Brian Urlacher and the rest of the Bears linebackers jumped on a party bus and headed to Angels and Kings. Casey Urlacher went to the door and was told by the promoters he could not bring the group inside because there were too many men.
It is not uncommon for a Chicago nightclub to keep a group of five or more men from entering a club without any women in their party.
The Bears instead went to the nearby Social 25 club, where they were admitted.
Defensive linemen Israel Idonije, Matt Toeaina and Henry Melton were waiting outside the bar when the party bus arrived.
Idonije responded "absolutely not'' when asked if thought the incident was racial.
"It was probably just a case of miscommunication," Idonije said. "Angels is a great place."
The club released the following statement:
"Every Monday night, operations of the bar are turned over to an outside vendor who hosts special events. We understand that this Monday night, members of the Chicago Bears were not admitted to the venue. We have terminated our relationship with the outside vendor. We will continue to investigate the facts and have started to reach out and apologize to the various Bears players who were involved."