By Ashley Dunkak
The Detroit Lions have issued an initial response to accusations that longtime center Dominic Raiola heckled the University of Wisconsin marching band before the Lions played the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
The story included many specific examples of Raiola’s comments, insults that included strong profanity as well as references to students’ weight and sexuality.
“We are aware of the reports involving Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band,” the organization stated in a press release. “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.”
The report of Raiola’s behavior, entitled “Dominic Raiola Spew Hate Speech At Wisconsin band Members,” comes from Tom Melton, a pro football scout, who listed very specific allegations against Raiola, who allegedly mocked a students’ weight — calling him a fat f*** — insulted another’s sister and dead mother, and called one woman a c***. The hate speech allegation comes in because he allegedly referred to one guy by a derogatory term for a gay man.
According to the report, Lions safety Louis Delmas apologized to students on behalf of the team.
Raiola is known to fly off the handle. He flipped off Lions fans in an incident in 2008, and he screamed obscenities at others in another situation because they were heckling then-rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford.