Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DAVE DYE  |  Last updated 10/7/13
Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola is being accused of verbally abusing members of the Wisconsin marching band who were at Lambeau Field Sunday in Green Bay to perform the national anthem. Band members say that Raiola made unprovoked sexual and homophobic comments to them. The Lions released the following statement: We are aware of the reports involving Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. 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. The incident was picked up by the media after Zach York, a band member, called out Raiola in a message posted on Facebook following the Lions' 22-9 loss to the Packers. Dominic Raiola is literally the worst person I have ever had the fortune to encounter, York wrote. After marching down the field awaiting the national anthem, he went on a verbal tirade, among other things, questioning my sexuality (as a band member) and then continued on to bring my sister and my recently deceased mother into the conversation. After I refused to give him the satisfaction of turning to look at him, he switched targets to a trombone ranting at him calling him overweight and saying he cant play a real sport. After our halftime show, the same fine gentleman (Raiola) called a female member of the band the c word. This wouldnt be the first time that Raiola has had a run-in with fans. He gave a Lions fan the finger a few years ago and also shouted obscenities to the crowd at Ford Field another time when quarterback Matthew Stafford was getting taunted by fans. Raiola, 34, is in his 13th season in the NFL. He has played in 193 games and started 177 during his Lions' career.
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