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Raiola Issues Apology For Comments Toward Wisconsin Marching Band

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DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 18: Dominic Raiola #51 of the Detroit Lions reacts to the loss against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on November 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Packers defeated the Lions 24-20. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 18: Dominic Raiola #51 of the Detroit Lions reacts to the loss against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on November 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Packers defeated the Lions 24-20. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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ALLEN PARK (AP/CBS Detroit) — In a statement released by the team, Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola has apologized for making “inappropriate” remarks to the University of Wisconsin band during Sunday’s game at Green Bay.

The Lions said Tuesday that Raiola called band director Michael Leckrone “to apologize for his actions on Sunday that involved band members.” The team says Raiola also promised “a significant donation” to the band.

The band visited Lambeau Field to perform during and after the game, won by the Packers. Band members say Raiola verbally abused them, cursing and insulting them without provocation, including slurs about weight and sexuality. He allegedly called one woman a c***.

He also allegedly insulted one student’s dead mother and sister. One of the band members posted a Facebook message calling Raiola the worst human being he’s ever encountered.

“My interaction with the Wisconsin Marching Band was inappropriate,” Raiola said in a statement released by the team. “I apologize to those I offended along with all of the members of Wisconsin’s Marching Band.

“I also apologize to the Lions’ organization and my teammates. I understand the standards to which we should conduct ourselves, and my actions Sunday fell dramatically short of those standards.”

Witnesses claimed Raiola’s comments included insults that included strong profanity as well as references to students’ weight and sexuality.

The 13-year veteran is the longest-tenured member on the Lions roster. Lions president Tom Lewand says the team is “pleased that he has taken ownership of his actions and admitted those actions were wrong and unacceptable.”

“We are aware of the reports involving Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band,” the Lions organization stated in a press release Monday. “Those reports are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players and from every member of our organization. We currently are gathering more information and will respond further when appropriate.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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