DETROIT - A Detroit Lions player has apologized for insulting members of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band during Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
“My interaction with the Wisconsin Marching Band was inappropriate. I apologize to those I offended along with all of the members of Wisconsin’s Marching Band,” Lions center Dominic Raiola said in a statement issued by the team.
“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.”
Band members said Raiola used profanities toward them, including insulting some performers’ weights and questioning their sexuality. He also allegedly used a derogatory term toward a female band member. The comments allegedly occurred before the band’s pregame show and after the halftime show.
“After investigating the matter and discussing Sunday’s events with Dominic, we are pleased that he has taken ownership of his actions and admitted those actions were wrong and unacceptable,” Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement issued by the team. “We are also pleased that he is supporting his apology with a significant donation to the Wisconsin Marching Band Fund. Due to Dominic’s sincere and appropriate response, there will be no additional disciplinary action by the team.”
UW Marching Band Director Mike Leckrone said Monday he was pleased with how the band members handled the situation. The students said they did not say anything to Raiola.
The UW Band typically plays at one Packers home game each season.
Raiola’s younger brother, Donovan, went to UW-Madison and played football for the Badgers.
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