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Raiola apologizes for verbally abusing band

The SportsXchange

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola apologized directly to the director of the University of Wisconsin marching band, issued a public apology and made a financial donation to the band as penance for verbal abusing members of the tuba section before the game Sunday in Green Bay.

However, he made it clear Wednesday that he did not use a homophobic slur.

"I don't know how accurate some of the reports were," he said. "I am not going to go through the whole dialogue again but I don't know about the gay comment and talking about somebody's mom dying. How would I know that? That's what I asked myself. It is what it is and it's behind us now."

Asked to clarify, he denied making any homophobic slurs. In fact, he said he was sensitive to those types of remarks since he has family members who are gay.

"I am not going to go into detail but if you can't come to me and prove what I said with a video or a recording or something like that, then - it's just something that went through a college dorm and got blown up," he said. "The (band) director even agreed, it got blown way out of proportion."

Both the Lions and the NFL said no further fines or penalties would be levied in this case.
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