Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola apologized Tuesday, Oct. 8, for insulting several members of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band before last Sunday's game against the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
"My interaction with the Wisconsin Marching Band was inappropriate," Raiola said. "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."
Raiola continued: "I understand the standards to which we should conduct ourselves, and my actions Sunday fell dramatically short of those standards."
The remarks, which were not heard by coaches or officials, were made during pregame warmups. The incident was made public when UW band member Zack York posted about the incident on his Facebook page.
"Dominic Raiola is literally the worst person I have ever had the fortune to encounter," York posted. "After marching down the field awaiting the national anthem, he went off 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."
York said Raiola called him a "f-g" and threatened to "take his trumpet and shove it up his sister’s p---y."
Raiola also called tuba players "fat f--ks," jeeringly asking if they were hungry for hotdogs.
The former Nebraska lineman continued the verbal assault during halftime, when he called a female band member a "c--t."
Monday, Lions Coach Jim Schwartz said he did not hear the comments but would be "very disappointed if that was the case, because that's certainly not the character we want to display."
As of this report, the Lions are standing by their statement that no disciplinary action will be taken against Raiola, who has a history of verbal exchanges with fans, if he apologized.
"Due to Dominic’s sincere and appropriate response, there will be no additional disciplinary action by the team,” Lions President Tom Lewand said. “We are also pleased that he is supporting his apology with a significant donation to the Wisconsin Marching Band Fund.”
There is no word yet on whether Raiola will face action from the league.
In 2008, Raiola was fined $7,500 after making an inappropriate gesture at Lions fans. Another gesture and a verbal altercation with fans in Miami cost him $15,000 in 2010.
Raiola, 34, was a second-round draft pick in 2001. At 6-feet, 1-inch and 295 pounds, he has spent his entire career with the Lions.
Detroit (3-2, First in the NFC North) was beaten 22-9 Sunday, marking the club's 23rd straight loss at Lambeau Field.
NFL officials did not return e-mails about the matter as of this report.