As if Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers wasn't bad enough, the Detroit Lions are now dealing with an off-field distraction because of center Dominic Raiola. He allegedly verbally abused members of the Wisconsin band, which was at Lambeau Field for Sunday's game. SB Nation spoke with the director of the Wisconsin band about this story, and you can read some of the specific things that Raiola allegedly said here.
Needless to say, the accusations reflect very poorly on Raiola and the Lions, and the team has already released a statement about the situation (via Tim Twentyman): "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."
Raiola spoke with Jennifer Hammond about the story and said that it's been "blown way out of proportion." He also said this:
"We've got more important things to worry about right now....we're worried about wins and loses." - Dominic Raiola in wake of #BandGate— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) October 7, 2013
That's not a very convincing defense given the allegations, especially considering Raiola's history of bad interactions with fans (click here for an example).
Raiola has twice been fined by the Lions for fan altercations. $7,500 in 2008, $15,000 in 2010. Expect something similar here.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 7, 2013
Jim Schwartz said on Monday that the Lions will "address" the allegations if they are true, and he also said that he would be disappointed if they are true. As noted above, addressing the situation likely means another fine considering this isn't the first time Raiola has done something stupid involving fans. Personally, I think he should take his own advice and "grow the f*** up."