British wheelchair athlete Jade Jones enjoyed almost all of Rihanna’s concert Wednesday at a cricket stadium in Manchester, England - until security showed up.
They came 10 minutes before the end of the show at Emirates Old Trafford stadium and asked Jones to leave because she was a “health and safety risk,” reports London’s Mirror.
The 20-year-old Jones, who represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Paralympics and hopes to go to Rio this year, was stunned and angry - and let Twitter know.
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Her tweet caught the attention of Daniel Gidney, chief executive of the Lancashire County Cricket Club which uses the stadium as its home, who tweeted: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will investigate.”
Stadium personnel saw the tweet too, replying:“Really sorry about this, @JadeJones11.”
A statement from the stadium said the incident had been a misunderstanding on the part of security personnel.
“The exit procedure that has always been in place after a concert for the disabled access viewing platform is that the customers are briefed that, if they intend to stay to the end of the concert they will be subject to being held back for 10 minutes or so until the crowd exiting under the Red Rose building have dissipated,” the statement said.
“This is purely for crowd movement and safety reasons, and no different to other areas of the ground where we need to hold back customers where the crowd flow merges into each other.
“It appears the briefing was misinterpreted or miscommunicated that the customers on the platform had to leave early. This is not the case. Customers can stay to the end of the concert but will be subject to this safety procedure.”
Tanni Grey-Thompson, whose husband trains Jones, told British media: “It maybe shows the world hasn’t moved on as much as we think it has. To miss the last 10 minutes is appalling – that’s often the best bit!
“It’s about training and understanding – they need to change their policy.”
People who read about it on Twitter had a similar reaction.
There are no do-overs for Jones. Rihanna’s Manchester show was the last on her UK tour.