Lions president apologizes to Wisconsin band


Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand apologized on behalf of the team to the University of Wisconsin Marching Band Monday after center Dominic Raiola was accused of verbally abusing members of the band before the Lions game with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

According to Rob Schultz and Dan Simmons of the Wisconsin State Journal, Lewand apologized to director Mike Leckrone after the team released a statement Monday saying they were investigating the incident.

Raiola was accused by members of the band for verbal abuse after he allegedly hurled insults at the band that contained profanities and even questioned the sexuality of some members of the group. The Lions are still investigating the altercation but Lewand felt the need to reach out to the band.

“He said that he hadn’t fully investigated but he knew enough that an apology was due,” Leckrone said. “I thought it was a heartfelt and welcomed gesture.”

Leckrone intended to relay the Lewand’s apology to the band on Tuesday.

48 responses to “Lions president apologizes to Wisconsin band

  1. When I was in marching band in high school we used to talk smack with everyone including the opposing football teams. These “we were bullied” nerds give us trash talking band members a bad name.

  2. Raiola was fined in 2008 and 2010 for offensive/obscene gestures towards fans. In this case, he was trying to get a reaction out of the band members by using a variety of vulgar assertions. There are links to some of the things he was saying, he is as bad an egg as it gets. Hopefully, he will get a reaction from Goodell instead of the band.

  3. Why isn’t Dominic apologizing for any of this, particularly in light of his history? At the very least he should be suspended and the length of it should depend on if he apologizes, if he means it and maybe a fine.

  4. I remember thinking how funny it was using gay slurs to insult non-gay males.

    That was back in grade school.

  5. When they heard an apology was forthcoming to a Wisconsin band, the Oneida Nation said they preferred a cash settlement. Only to find out that this was one of the rare occasions where someone else was getting an apology. But they’d still like some cash if possible.

  6. This guy makes a living by bending over in front of another man and has them thrust their hands into his nether regions. And he also slams into other dudes. Methinks Raiola is a bit insecure and perhaps brain damaged.

  7. Accusing students of being deviants and perverts are extreme insults and fighting words in civilized society. The students should be commended on their restraint.

    If you are a savage from the ghetto of Detroit such language is commonplace.

    What Raiola doesn’t understand is that there is a movement in America to make any and all perversions and deviancy acceptable and the PC (politically intolerable) crowd will come after him with a vengeance for being anti-deviant.

  8. I’m a Lion fan… and believe it’s time to dump the biggest loser on the team… Jim Schwartz… who not only puts up with this garbage, but encourages it.

    They can’t even claim that ‘winning’ helps him.

    Dump him and salvage some season… and a TON of DIGNITY.

  9. i don’t care who he is or what title lewand has, you can’t apologize by proxy. that isn’t an apology at all. lewand is only sorry that his player made some thoughtless and derogatory remarks and got publicly “busted” , and his name revealed for doing it. the guy who made the inflammatory slurs needs to stand up and make a direct public apology. of course, all these apologetic statements are pretty much alike and are probably written by the players’ team PR people to save face for the team, as much as for the player. obviously these players could care less about having consciousness of “political correctness” or any humanitarian concern. if not forced by their teams, most of these guys would never apologize, because most i’m sure don’t give a damn, or care in the least!

  10. So it’s ok for some 40-60 year old packer fans to moon opposing teams buses, but god forbid if a 34 yr old talks some smack to some 18-22 year old frat boys who are notoriously disrespectful with their antics. I saw what the band members looked like, typical college punks who feel entitled to do and say whatever they want. But now they get their panties in a bunch over a couple words that they most likely use in each and every one of their sentences. And in all fairness, the alleged girl victim was most likely mistaken for a man, I mean (s)he is from Wisconsin and in the band after all right?

  11. Dominic Raiola should consult with fellow Nebraska grad Rich Incognito about how to deal with his demons.

    Picking on members of a college band is is a sign that his inner Neanderthal has probably gained control.

  12. Lewand apologizes before he even knows all the details because he knows the Lions are classless. I read about this on another site and the student band members claim he said some awful things to them during pregame warm ups.

  13. Wow, now Raoila… Something in the water up in Detroit that this culture never ends. A 34 year old verbally assaulting teen agers, real tough guy there. Bully.

    Props to Louis Delmas for trying to correct the issue. The Lions could use another 30 of him.

  14. Seriously, what is wrong with Raiola? He’s probably been a bully and a jerk his whole life and no one’s probably called him out in it like this.

  15. Wow. Trash talking the band. Dude needs to grow up. I bet he didn’t want to do much yapping after his team lost.

  16. Detroit fans, this stuff starts at the top, on the side line. Just watch your head coach conduct himself. It’s no wonder these guys act the way they do. Also, look at the history of super bowl winners. Guys like this are sitting home in January. The current Lions will be no exception.

  17. This should be turned over to the Competition Committee for review.

    An easy 15 yards for insulting the band of another team.

  18. Apologizes for what? the band dont have anything to do with football.
    No one cares what a player says to them or about them. IF THE BAND WAS PLAYING HOW COULD THEY HEAR THAT FOOL SAY ANYTHING?
    Now back to FOOTBALL!! the greatest game known to man kind.

  19. Atleast the organization separated themselves from this incident by apologizing for a knuckleheads actions.

  20. The incident was bad enough that Raiola’s teammate Louis Delmas apparently apologized to the band on the spot after having witnessed Raiola’s verbal tirade. Delmas added that he enjoyed the band’s performance.

    If that’s true, good for Delmas

  21. Firstly I think Raiola should have gone a few seasons ago for his play alone, but…
    Why is everyone accepting this as fact? I have seen more 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 literally 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 (by the way his own brother played and graduated from the same university)? 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 to the Packers, and again sorry if this is true. I’m just basing my opinion off logic here – which admittedly the Lion’s continously throw out the window.

  22. Raiola’s a bush league lineman at best and couldn’t start for any other NFL team. When he does make the highlight films he’s usually picking himself up off the turf after being knocked on his a** by an opposing defensive player. The Lions should have cut him years ago. No talent and classless as well — a real poster boy for the Lions. Sorry to say that this is coming from a Detroit fan who’s had to put up with this garbage for the last 40 years. Compare this with the Ilitch-owned teams like the Red Wings and the Tigers.

  23. Honestly… Who cares? This is what’s wrong with society today. Instead of just ignoring him or trying to get the better of him, this 18 year old (a man by law) runs and cried to the media. This whole country needs to grow up and toughen up. You had your feelings hurt? Boo hoo. I’m sure worse has been said to raoila by opposing fans. If you read the comments on the blog you’d think he beat the band guy to a pulp. Arrest and prosecute him? How about be a man and suck it up. Heaven forbid someone’s feelings are hurt nowadays. Participation trophies for everyone! What a joke

  24. A 300lb muscle-bound NFL lineman picking on band geeks — I’m not sure the things that Raiola said are worse, or the fact that he bullied band geeks.

  25. Props to Delmas for immediately apologizing for it, (providing the sources are correct).

    As a Lions fan, his behavior isn’t new. He gave his own fans the bird a few years ago. It’s unacceptable, nevertheless.

    But hey, maybe the band instigated?

    Band member: “Hey Raiola! You look like you could lose a few pounds! You know how I lost a lot of weight? Porking your wife!”

    Raiola: “generic 9th grade smack talk towards kids in band.”

  26. If I’m this band member, I’m issuing a public apology to my father, his father, and his father before him for being a crybaby and running to the media with his tail between his legs. You want to get someone to stop bullying you? Stand up to him and be a man. If I came home from school and told my dad that someone had made fun of me, my dad would’ve said, “well, what did you do about it?” and if I said, well, I’m telling you. He would’ve been pretty disappointed in me. Had I done this when I was 18-22 in college… I can’t imagine what he’d say to me.

  27. All the band member had to do was sit quietly until there was a couple minutes left in the fourth, have him and his band buddies try to get raoilas attention and then when he looked over, the whole band points at the scoreboard while this kid winks at him laughing. Instead, let’s run and cry to anyone who will listen. Waaaa my feelings are hurt… grow up dude.

  28. Raiola may be a hothead, but I’m sure the band started it by yelling something to him.

    Wisconsin’s band is notorious for having poor behavior. They had huge hazing issues a few years back and have been known for their bad behavior.

  29. Terrible to see a team with such potential consistently throw away a season. Year after year. Once they get rid of Schwartz, they will be ok. He has no control over his players what so ever…..

  30. Again if the Band was playing what makes this fool think they could hear him, Better question?? How did they know what that idiot said?
    thats just like the Lions ….STUPID!! and they get it from the coach.

  31. And this shows that the Detroit Lions are a low character organization from top to bottom. They may make the playoffs every now and again, but they will never advance. Because character comes out when the pressure is on.

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