GREEN BAY - A Detroit Lions player is being accused of verbally abusing members of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band at Sunday's Packers game.
Band members say Lions Center Dominic Raiola taunted some of them about their sexuality and weight. They say it happened on Lambeau Field both before their pregame performance and after their halftime show.
Michael Leckrone, the director of UW's marching band says his group's annual trip to Lambeau Field is a treasured one. But Sunday's performance wasn't like the band's past trips to Green Bay.
“They were quite shaken by it,” said Leckorne.
According to reports, including a Facebook post by a band member, Lions center Dominic Raiola shouted at band members, using profane words to insult some of the musicians’ weights and their sexuality.
“From that standpoint I was very pleased at the fact they didn't do anything except become a little bit shaken by the situation,” said Leckrone.
In a social media post, a member of the Badgers band called Raiola the worst person he ever had the fortunate to encounter.
“He went off on a verbal tirade, among other things, questioned my sexuality (as a band member) and then continued on to bring my sister and my recently deceased mother into the conversation,” wrote the band member.
Band members say they didn't say anything to Raiola.
The Lions are now investigating the matter.
“When you go on the road there's hostile environments,” said Jim Schwartz, the Lions Head Coach. “Fans say a lot of things and stuff like that. We need to stay above stuff like that.”
Schwartz says he and his coaches didn't hear any of the alleged comments.
“I'd be very disappointed if that's the case, cause that's certainly not the character we want to display,” said Schwartz.
According to an article on the team’s website, Raiola has been in trouble in the past for his conduct toward fans. In 2010, the team fined him $15,000 for using obscene words and a hand gesture toward a fan in Miami. Two years earlier, he was fined $7,500 for inappropriate conduct toward fans during a loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Detroit.
Raiola’s brother, Donovan, went to UW-Madison and played football for the Badgers.
“We love the Wisconsin band obviously,” said Mike McCarthy, the Packers Head Coach. “I don't know what the hell he is thinking about saying anything negative to the band.”
The university issued a statement saying Lions President Tom Lewand called the school and apologized for the actions of his player and assured them future discussion will take place.
The Wisconsin Band traditionally performs at one Packers home game per season. In 2004, the band’s tuba section received national attention when it teased injured Vikings receiver Randy Moss with a message spelled out on the instruments’ bells.
Watch the video:
In that same game, ESPN.com reported Vikings defensive lineman Chris Hovan nearly punched one of the band members when Hovan said he thought the musician invaded his personal space during the pre-game show.
It was a scary situation today for one Winnebago County sheriff's deputy after responding to a crash along Highway 41.
A Greenleaf dairy farm says it has fired two employees and barred a third from handling animals after video shot by an undercover activist showed workers hitting, kicking, stabbing and whipping cows.
On Wednesday, a state committee will release its recommendations on what Wisconsin should do with the Common Core standards.
Cheers for a big check at an Appleton elementary school.
The victim in a weekend shooting at an Appleton night club has died, according to Appleton police.
The possibility of a Walmart store in downtown Green Bay is still alive.