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Lions investigating Dominic Raiola’s comments to Wisconsin band

Dominic Raiola

Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola sits on the bench during the closing minutes of their 24-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers in an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)


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.