Detroit Lions centered Dominic Raiola has apologized for taunting members of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band and intends to make a donation to the program.
Raiola was accused insulting some band members being overweight, and even questioned the sexuality of at least one band member, before the national anthem at Green Bay this past Sunday. He allegedly used a highly derogatory term toward a female member of the band, too.
As a result, Raiola apologized to University of Wisconsin Band Director Michael Leckrone on Tuesday for his inappropriate remarks, and intends to make a “significant” donation to The Marching Band Fund, which supports the band.
"My interaction with the Wisconsin Marching Band was inappropriate," Raiola said in a statement released by the team (c/o the team’s official website). "I apologize to those I offended along with all of the members of Wisconsin’s Marching Band.
"I also apologize to the Lions’ organization and my teammates. I understand the standards to which we should conduct ourselves, and my actions Sunday fell dramatically short of those standards."
Lions Team President Tom Lewand, who personally apologized to Leckrone on Monday, issued this statement:
"After investigating the matter and discussing Sunday’s events with Dominic, we are pleased that he has taken ownership of his actions and admitted those actions were wrong and unacceptable," the statement read.
"As we said yesterday, his actions were not reflective of the standard of behavior that we expect from any player or any member of our organization.
"We are also pleased that he is supporting his apology with a significant donation to the Wisconsin Marching Band Fund.
"Due to Dominic’s sincere and appropriate response, there will be no additional disciplinary action by the team."
Raiola is a free agent after this season, and at 34-years old, this will likely be one of the center’s last statements in Detroit.