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Lions' Raiola accused of taunting UW band members

Oct. 7, 2013
 
The University of Wisconsin Marching Band performs before Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
The University of Wisconsin Marching Band performs before Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola. / File/AP

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Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn’t know many of the details of what allegedly happened between Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin marching band during Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

What he does know is if the allegations against the Lions’ center prove to be true, it’s unacceptable behavior.

The incident in question happened before Sunday’s 22-9 victory at Lambeau Field. On Monday, Internet reports began to circulate alleging that Raiola used hate speech toward some band members and taunted them about their sexuality and weight.

Wisconsin’s band was making its annual appearance at Lambeau, where it performs the national anthem and performs shows at halftime and following the game.

“We love the Wisconsin band, and obviously, I don’t know what the hell he’s thinking about saying anything negative to the band,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know what was said or this and that. I know our fans love it when the Wisconsin band is here. Phenomenal reputation, they did a great job yesterday, but as far as who said what, I really don’t have any comment on it.”

Some members of the band took to social media afterward to vent their frustrations and disgust with Raiola, whose younger brother, Donovan, played at Wisconsin.

The Lions later released a statement about the incident: "We are aware of the reports involving Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. 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.”

For Detroit Free Press sports reporter Dave Birkett's story, go to http://on.freep.com/16twXtc.

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