Lions investigating Dominic Raiola’s comments to Wisconsin band

AP

Lions center Dominic Raiola has been accused of making obscene and homophobic remarks to Wisconsin band members who were performing during Sunday’s game at Green Bay, and the team is investigating the matter.

The Lions released a statement on Monday acknowledging that they’ve heard complaints about Raiola’s behavior at Lambeau Field.

“We are aware of the reports involving Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band,” the statement said. “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.”

Football blogger Tom Melton wrote on Monday that Raiola unleashed an unprovoked verbal assault on members of the Wisconsin band, calling them fat and using a couple of other F-words that we won’t repeat here.

This isn’t the first time Raiola has found himself in hot water for an encounter during a game. In 2008, the Lions fined Raiola $7,500 for giving fans the finger. In 2010, the Lions fined Raiola $15,000 for making obscene comments to fans. In the past, Raiola has been unapologetic. Perhaps it will take a suspension for Raiola to get the message. If the allegations that Raiola used a homophobic slur are accurate, a suspension would clearly be warranted.

95 responses to “Lions investigating Dominic Raiola’s comments to Wisconsin band

  1. Dom’s a lot more passionate than talented.

    Now let’s see how long it takes Chicago trolls to bring up a game they lost from 2 weeks ago.

  2. Didn’t Kobe Bryant just get a fine for using a gay slur? I know it’s two different sports, but still, a suspension? Something tells me the band members are not telling the whole truth.

  3. I find this odd being that his brother Donovan is a Wisconsin Alum.

    Also,
    Fact-Michigan has a higher percentage of fat people then Wisconsin. Research that!!!

  4. Didn’t the Lions give up 5 sacks to a team that’s been having pass rush concerns? If that’s the case maybe this goof should be reminded he’s supposed to be protecting Stafford and setting the line calls and worry a little less about the damn band. Nice job lions…………

  5. “Perhaps it will take a suspension for Raiola to get the message.”
    ….because Raiola has such a history of behavioral issues. Raiola is the one assaulting women in bars. Raiola is the one drunk driving. Raiola is the one accused of murder. Oh, you want one closer to home? Raiola is the one that stomped on a guy’s arm and kicked another guy in the crotch as he fell to the ground.

    No… Raiola is the one that got extremely frustrated when his home crowd booed their own team for falling 0-13 so he gave them the finger. Get a grip. There is no history.

  6. its one thing to pick on band kids when you are a meathead jock in school with them…but much much sadder when you are a 34-year-old millionaire…

  7. Let’s remember there are three sides to every story. Recall the Wisconsin band has been in these situations before at Packers game. It wasn’t that long ago that they seriously contemplated spelling out “HOVAN EATS BABIES” on their tubas when the Vikings came to town. Instead, they went with “MOSS WHERE YOU AT” (referrng to injured Randy Moss who wasn’t playing in that game).

    No question, Dom has to be a professional and rise above taunts from fans (if indeed this was happening) – but these atheletes are human too.

  8. So you insult our band, try to trip our qb several different times, and stomp our o-lines balls. Great franchise.

  9. Well Dominic my friend, I was playing in Army Bands before your Candy Axx was born. Yes, dude, I take offense at your stupid comments to the Wisconsin Band.

  10. Suspension? Really? That’s about the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard.

    Can’t wait to see how long this anti-Lions headline stays at the top of the page. O/U is 8.5 hours.

  11. What a bunch arrogant cry babies. I’m sure he was walking by and just turned and started trash talking the band. Come on. If they’re gonna dish it out, which, yes I am assuming they did, then don’t be a :::female dog::: when it gets returned.

  12. The only question the Lions should be asking themselves: If this is true, is Raiola good enough to warrant keeping on the roster? NFL is a business first and foremost. In corporate America, people get suspended/fired daily for inappropriate behavior, but CERTAIN employees seem to be immune to any sort of repercussions. The NFL is no different- depending on your status within the locker room and the league in general, you can either skate by with a slap on the wrist or get released and blackballed from the league in a heartbeat.

  13. Pkrlvr . . . Charles Martin on line 1

    pkrlvr says:
    Oct 7, 2013 12:53 PM
    So you insult our band, try to trip our qb several different times, and stomp our o-lines balls. Great franchise.

  14. When did this country get so wussified? “Whaaa someone made fun of me!!!!”

    Clearly we need to send this guy a message by suspending him. With all the crap fans talk to players, I applaud them for not lashing out more.

  15. As Mr. Raiola’s counsel…We contend that he said they were sounding FLAT….the word fat was NEVER mentioned.

    Mr. Raiola was merely offering constructive criticism and encouragement….he has ALWAYS been a major supporter of marching bands…but you did not know that – did you?

  16. It’s amazing how people can call Detroit such nasty things and they probably have never been there. Good thing we always trust everything the media says about a city. I mean, how lost can people be.

  17. As someone who had many friends who were members of the Wisconsin marching band I can say from firsthand experience that this was likely a highly provoked exchange. The UW band is known for being a rowdy group and they give it as much as they take it, typically.

    Not defending Raiola, nor castigating the members of the band. Seems to me that there used to be a time when people could get into some verbal sparring without ending up all butthurt over it. Grow up, everyone.

  18. I’m really tired of the P.C. police.

    If someone says something that hurts your feelings try to talk to them about it. If you don’t get anywhere move on.

    I want to know who the moral authority is? Who gets to determine what someones allowed to say or not?

    People demand tolerance unless it violates what they themselves are tolerant of. . .

  19. Soooo….let me get this straight. We talking suspension for a guy who MAY have said some ‘hurtful’ things to some college band members, who have in the past shown little class towards visiting teams. But the guy who launched himself at a QB who was clearly out of bounds, hit him in the head/neck area illegally on that play, AND punched an opposing player DID NOT get a suspension, but instead barely got fined….and that player just happens to play on the team who was hosting that marching band.

    Really?!!?!

    Sounds to me like A) the Wisconsin Marching Band should learn to take it if they are going to dish it out, and B) the league office better check itself if they want to suspend Raiola over something that is basically pretty damn trivial in comparison.

  20. Correct me if I’m wrong, but should an offensive lineman be calling anyone fat? I’d understand if it were a running back or wide receiver, but lineman aren’t exactly in great physical shape.

  21. Wow….this is pathetic. You honestly think it’s ok for a professional football player to yell obscenities at the marching band thats there for halftime? You know, half time where it was still a 6-3 game? And then the Lions promptly went down 16-3 and lost 22-3?

    It’s not cool to yell gay slurs…that’s not gay defender elite, that’s common decency. It’s not hard to do. You literally just don’t yell stuff regarding possible lifestyles. I pull it off every day.

    Maybe prepare and make needed changes at halftime? The Pack clearly did….but those kids man, they really had it comin! Pathetic.

  22. Some of you dont get it. These guys get paid to play football and REPRESENT their organizations. The are expected to be professionals on and off the field. If you cant keep your mouth shut for the kind of pay these guys make Im sure they can find a job as a bouncer somewhere. If Dom and the rest of the Lions would have played better and won Im sure the kids in the band wouldnt have said a word. That is if they did.

  23. kylexitron says:
    Oct 7, 2013 12:44 PM
    Lets be honest. Anyone who pursues a long term investment in being in a marching band pretty much has it coming to them and knows it
    ————————-

    I am huge football fan and former member/director of bands and drum corps. You are wrong, among other things I won’t write here.

  24. Never punch down. Pro-athletes could save themselves so much heartache if they could just live by those words. Love the Lions, hate the lions: if I’m a pro-athlete … I’m getting involved in trash talk with John Q Public. Ever.

  25. suspend somebody because of name-calling?? Have we devolved into a nation of sensitive-sissies?
    When I grew up, there was a nationwide strength of, “sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.
    Today’s nation has Rabbit Ears, listening really hard for a word or phrase that might hurt somebody’s feelings.
    C’mon modern America, rise above it .. words can’t hurt you unless you are so weak that you give words power over your own self image. Just ignore negativity … don’t Obsess over it.

  26. bigdaddy, I think you’re disillusion. If the Lions had won the band would’ve kept their mouths shut and been utterly respectful? laughable.

  27. another spoiled player that can’t act his age. I seems the NFL is overpopulated with this caliber of person.

  28. Lions fan here. New year’s day 2012 I was in the 2nd row behind the Lions bench for the infamous Matt Flynn game at Lambeau. That day I was shocked at how much time Raola spent mouthing off to people in the stands.

    Whatever they are claiming that Raola said is probably true.

  29. Maybe he’s just frustrated over playing for a City that’s bankrupt. No, I’m pretty sure he’s just a jerk.

  30. Lions fans, like myself, cannot wait until Mr. Raiola is no longer a member of the team. For reasons on the field and off, but primarily on.

  31. As a citizen of the US, he has the right to say these things. However, as an employee and reprentative of the organization, the Lions have every right to suspend/fine him. I’m sure there’s something written in his contract.

  32. “Those reports are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players and from every member of our organization.”

    Really? And yet Matt Millen worked for years for the Lions and you still have a dimwit named Suh on your roster.

    Don’t be a liar.

  33. grndizzle says: Oct 7, 2013 1:10 PM

    If Riley Cooper wasn’t suspended, why would Raiola be?

    —————————————————————-

    Cooper’s idiotic remark happened on his own time at a music concert.
    Raiolas’ idiotic remark happened “On the job” while representing his employer. There is a huge difference in that little fact.

  34. The refs stoled that game from the Lions. Blatant push off by Jones on his TD. There can’t be a tripping penalty when SUH WASN’T EVEN USING HIS FOOT!!! The NFL’s love for the Packers and their “fans” just won’t stop!

  35. snoilwins says:Oct 7, 2013 1:07 PM

    Pkrlvr . . . Charles Martin on line 1

    pkrlvr says:
    Oct 7, 2013 12:53 PM
    So you insult our band, try to trip our qb several different times, and stomp our o-lines balls. Great franchise.
    ===============================

    That was one incident in 1986 – almost 27 years ago.

    The incidents with Detroit started in the 2009-2010 timeframe and continue to this day.

    Nice try.

  36. He is calling someone else fat? Has he looked in the mirror lately? Somebody’s getting the old tire belly…

  37. In the old days, it was “sticks and stones may break my bones but name will never hurt me.” In today’s NFL it’s “it’s okay to break as many bones as you want as long as you hit them is specified areas, but verbal abuse of any kind will not be tolerated!” Would you get fined for calling the NFL idiots?

  38. Despite what some people think, freedom of speech isn’t absolute per the Constitution. There are exceptions. As a citizen he can say whatever he wants. As an employee of the Lions and while at work, as it were, he can’t say whatever he wants to whomever he wants. Most employers have rules of conduct. They have the right to punish him. If he doesn’t like it he can search for work someplace that doesn’t mind that behavior. He’s not getting persecuted by the government. Also, the band can be investigated as well. Fair is fair.

  39. jfaoyx says:
    Oct 7, 2013 2:13 PM
    I DESPISE how PC and backwards this country has become.

    It is truly disgusting.
    ====================================

    then you can move to a less progressive, less tolerant country .. hopefully for you, you are one of the things they tolerate.

  40. Put a Harbaugh on the sidelines(doesn’t matter, just pick one) and Detroit has a SB. Schwartz needs to go. They win in spite of him, not because of him.

  41. Dom was a jerk long before this coach came along. Most fans would have been happy to see him go long ago.

  42. Would you prefer Mark Chmura or Johnny Jolly? What’s the point – I don’t think any of us care if our teams’ players are choir boys and I don’t want them to babysit my kids. Nobody really expects to hear enlightened thoughts from football players, so why are we surprised when they act like this? Just don’t pretend that the childishness stops at your city limits.

    jrmbadger says: Oct 7, 2013 2:44 PM

    snoilwins says:Oct 7, 2013 1:07 PM

    Pkrlvr . . . Charles Martin on line 1

    pkrlvr says:
    Oct 7, 2013 12:53 PM
    So you insult our band, try to trip our qb several different times, and stomp our o-lines balls. Great franchise.
    ===============================

    That was one incident in 1986 – almost 27 years ago.

    The incidents with Detroit started in the 2009-2010 timeframe and continue to this day.

    Nice try.

  43. snoilwins says:
    Oct 7, 2013 4:54 PM
    Would you prefer Mark Chmura or Johnny Jolly? What’s the point – I don’t think any of us care if our teams’ players are choir boys and I don’t want them to babysit my kids. Nobody really expects to hear enlightened thoughts from football players, so why are we surprised when they act like this? Just don’t pretend that the childishness stops at your city limits.

    jrmbadger says: Oct 7, 2013 2:44 PM

    snoilwins says:Oct 7, 2013 1:07 PM

    Pkrlvr . . . Charles Martin on line 1

    ———————————————————-

    Chmura didn’t do anything. Give it up.

    Charles Martin should have been called for holding. It was poor form on a block.

    Jolly? He had some cough syrup mixed with soda and for that get’s sentenced by our insane criminal to prison. That system calculates the amount of “drug” not by the psycho-active component but by the total volume of the liquid in the cup. Too bad for Johnny that he got a Big Gulp and dumped some cough syrup into it. If he would have just chugged it out of the cough syrup container he would have been cool.

  44. Jim Schwartz needs to read a ‘Discipline for Idiots’ book at his local Barnes and Noble, assuming it wasn’t abandoned with the rest of Detroit.

  45. It has also been reported that Lions Safety, Louis Delmas, apologized to the band for Raiola’s comments and shared a few nice exchanges with them.

    Classy move for a player that didn’t have to extend himself.

  46. They must keep Dominic around to class the Lions up. It cant possibly be his play. He and the Lions O-line is awful. I would have shut my mouth and focused on NOT giving up FIVE sacks. What an idiot.

  47. Time to send him in for some “sensitivity training,” aka “thought control school – where we teach you how to think the politically correct way.”

  48. If they lions keep this up, they will be the first roster in the NFL required to take charm school.

  49. One comment when maybe somebody said something to him or got in his way wouldn’t be a big deal. But that linked blog says he started in on the band during pregame and kept finding new people in the band to ridicule right through the national anthem. Has he been drug tested recently?

  50. Raiola was an idiot for taking the bait, but the truth is the UW band is known for talking “stuff” to the opposing team’s players and fans, both at college games and when they perform at professional games. It’s a party school and more than half the students at UW are binge drinkers (according to UW Health Services).

    And yeah … the Lions should have a talk with Raiola, but suspension? Really? You’re kidding right?

    A better punishment would be to make him write a hefty check to support the UW band, and then make him sit through one of their concerts (part two may be considered cruel and unusual, but it’s deserved).

  51. For those of you who defend this guy I just have one question…

    How would you feel if he was saying it to your sis or bro? Your mother or father? Your child? Those band members fill all those roles to somebody in their family.

    You’re looking at this from the position that the individual is being penalized by society’s rules. It’s probably true but the reality is that without some rules, we’d have anarchy, violence without limits, survival of the fittest. Yes, the rules chafe for some, get over it. We pay taxes too and that REALLY SUX.

    By the way, the reason a suspension MIGHT be warranted isn’t because of this incident it’s because he has a history of similar incidents where he DIDN’T correct his behavior.

    Try NOT PUNISHING your kid when they continue to behave badly when you’ve told them not to and see how they turn out. I suspect you’ll find yourself increasing the punishment until the behavior stops. OR you could just be a bad parent and let them get away with bad behavior.

  52. I don’t want to bash on the Lions or this Raiola hump, but it appears the mighty Schwartzer forgot about the whole discipline factor in running a team. This will only come back to bite him, eventually.

  53. Firstly I think Raiola should have gone a few seasons ago, but… Why is everyone accepting this as fact? I have seen more reddit witch hunts than I care to remember, and I can’t for the life of me figure why a veteran NFL player would randomly start harassing band members, who wouldn’t take his bait, so he moves on to other band members. He’s has lierally had 100’s of chances to do this, but he just now breaks down and can’t take it anymore?
    An NFL player using sexually derogative terms in a public venue? That’s putting a career at risk. All because the dude hates trombone players? Does this make sense to anyone? Sure Raiola has lost his cool, flipped a bird here or there when provoked. Who’s to say these band members aren’t making this up, or didn’t provoke him?

    We are certainly only getting one side of the story, and as members of Wisconsin’s marching band, would they not be predisposed to bias?
    Like he has some inner rage that built up for seasons and he couldn’t take it anymore so he just starts insulting band members? This sounds like a load of make believe to me. If it’s true I’m sorry, but color me 100% skeptic for the simple reason it makes zero sense.

    Good game Packers, and again sorry if this is true. I’m just basing my opinion off logic here – which the Lion’s continously throw out the window.

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