Lions center Dominic Raiola denies issuing gay slur to Wisconsin band
Lions center Dominic Raiola said on Wednesday that he did not use a gay slur to insult members of the University of Wisconsin marching band before Sunday’s 22-9 loss to the Packers, according to the Detroit Free-Press.
Raiola, who issued a statement apologizing for the incident on Tuesday, declined to share additional details on his role on Wednesday. He did admit to “jawing a little back and forth” with band members and said he would make “a significant contribution” to the band.
A Wisconsin band member accused Raiola via Facebook of uttering homophobic language and expletives toward the band as it lined up to perform the national anthem before the game. The accusation caused Lions president Tom Lewand to offer a personal apology.
On Wedneday, Raiola said that the incident was blown out of proportion and is behind him now.
From the Free-Press:
“That definitely was inaccurate, and that’s all I’m going to say,” Raiola said about using a gay slur. “I’m not going to go into details on what was said and wasn’t said. If you can’t come to me and prove to me what was said with a video or a recording or something like that, obviously, it’s somebody sitting in a college dorm and it got blown up. The director agreed: It got blown way out of proportion. It’s too bad that it got to this.
“It’s pretty much behind us now,” Raiola said. “I bet there was probably 95% of them that we were jawing a little bit back and forth, and probably the other 5 didn’t, maybe a couple people didn’t like it and kind of went far. I said what I needed to say yesterday, and my mind shifted to Cleveland yesterday. I don’t know how accurate all those reports were, but I’m not going to go on and bring it back up again and make it fresh. It’s behind us, and we’re moving on to Cleveland.”