According to Thomas Melton of Thomas Melton Scouting, a member of The Wisconsin Band told him that Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola was verbally abusive towards several members of the band before, during and after Sunday’s game against the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Below is an excerpt from Melton’s post. This just made me sick.
According to a Wisconsin tuba player, Raiola and his teammates were engaged in their pregame warm-ups on the field near the goal line when he turned around and called him and the other tubas “Fat mother f**kers” and told them that “they sucked.” According to that tuba player no one in the band had done anything to provoke him, and no other band members I spoke with witnessed anything that could have provoked Raiola. The tuba player I spoke with made sure to point out that the rest of the band hadn’t even been on the field yet, and none of the tuba players said anything to him, so no one in the band could have provoked Raiola prior to him making those comments.
As the band was preparing to play the National Anthem another band member told me Raiola was yelling at him, saying such things such as “Hey fat guy, you want a hot dog?” When this band member did not acknowledge him, he continued to yell at other band members within earshot of him until the band began to play. A third band member told me Raiola was calling a band member near him a “fat fu**” prior to their pregame performance as well.
After the band’s halftime performance multiple band members I spoke with told me he and multiple other band members vividly heard Raiola ridicule a trombone player’s weight while they were performing. One band member reported hearing a female member of the band say “Hey number 51,” referring to Raiola, which multiple band members told me he responded to by calling her “the c-word” as they were walking back to their seats.
Raiola even went on to make comments that questioned a band member’s ssexuality.
According to this band member Raiola made comments regarding his sexuality, as well as other insults involving his sister and recently deceased mother. An additional band member confirmed this story, adding that one such insult was “[Raiola] was going to take his trumpet and shove it up his sister’s p***y” in addition to Raiola “repeatedly calling him a fag.” According to this band member “as soon as we stopped for our position to play the National Anthem I just heard [Raiola] yelling continually at him.” Multiple other members of the band reported hearing Raiola uttering homophobic slurs throughout his unprovoked denigrating of the students prior to the National anthem.
Melton reached out to the Lions and they responded by issuing a statement.
“Those reports are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players.”
“We currently are gathering more information and will respond further when appropriate.”