Lions C Raiola accused of verbal attacks
GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- The Detroit Lions are looking into allegations that longtime center Dominic Raiola verbally assaulted members of the University of Wisconsin marching band before Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
Raiola made inappropriate comments toward band members during pregame warmups that included expletives, remarks about their physically appearance and homophobic slurs, according to multiple reports.
Lions safety Louis Delmas reportedly apologized to members of the band for Raiola's comments.
The Lions released a statement that read: "Those reports are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players. We currently are gathering more information and will respond further when appropriate."
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said neither he nor any of the other coaches heard any verbal jousting between Raiola and the band. He had yet to address the issue with Raiola.
Monday was an off day for the players and Raiola was not available to comment.
"We need to stay above stuff like that," Schwartz said. "I would be very disappointed if that was the case. It is certainly not the character we want to display."
The Detroit Free Press reported that Raiola has been fined twice in his career for making inappropriate gestures at fans.
Raiola, 34, has been a regular for the Lions since 2002.
"We love the Wisconsin band," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday.
"I don't know what the hell he's thinking about saying anything negative to the band," McCarthy said of Raiola's reported comments. "I don't know what was said or this and that ... but I know our fans love it when the Wisconsin band is here - a phenomenal reputation (and) they did a great job yesterday. But, as far as who said what, I really don't have any comment on it."