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Raiola Does About Face On Band Incident, Says ‘I Don’t Speak Like That’

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DETROIT (CBS Detroit) After he was outed for cursing and insulting members of the band playing before the Packers game, the Lions apologized, president Tom Lewand apologized, and Dominic Raiola apologized — but now he’s telling a different story.

At Lions practice Wednesday, Raiola told 97.1 The Ticket’s Jeff Riger the incident was “blown way out of proportion and then taken out of context.”

“I know what kind of person I am,” he said, adding, “It’s not accurate.”

Was he provoked into a tirade?

“We were going back and forth and I’m going to leave it at that,” he said.

He also denied he flung a homophobic slur at a member of the band — which was one of the accusations — and said he chatted up the band after the game, and all was cool.

“I don’t speak like that,” he said, laughing. “I have a lot of respect for … you know … I have family  members that are … (homosexual), you know, gay, so, you know, I have a lot of respect for them,” he said. “I know it’s a different kind of band but I have people in bands I’m best friends with. I have a lot of respect for that.

The Lions said Tuesday that Raiola had 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.

University of Wisconsin band members said Raiola had 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.

At the time, Raiola said his “actions Sunday fell dramatically short of those standards.”

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

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