Dominic Raiola Is Not Remorseful for Flipping Off Lions Fans
I’ll tell you, after hearing Dominic Raiola’s interview Tuesday on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio, I don’t want to see the team go 0-16. At first I did just to spite the organization for being so poorly run; it would be the ultimate insult if they were to go winless. But after hearing Raiola talk, I really started to realize that there are some solid players on the team — guys who are trying, who do care, who want to win, and who hate losing. It’s because of guys like Raiola that I now want the Lions to get into the win column and avoid a lifetime of embarrassment. Because Raiola’s been with the team since ’01, he’s taken the brunt of the criticism from Lions fans (at least in his mind). His emotions boiled over on Sunday in the loss to the Vikings when he flipped off the Ford Field fans, a move that cost him $7,500. The organization said they were disappointed with Raiola’s move and said that’s not how they treat their fans. Raiola is saying otherwise:
“You know, if you’re not happy, why are you coming to the game? I understand that they haven’t seen a winner in eight years, so don’t come — don’t come until we turn it around. If they want me to be quiet and just take it … I don’t agree that I should do that.
You get booed a lot in the NFL — we get booed every week. Fans pay a lot of money and times are really hard right now, and we understand that they want to see a winner. When they get personal [with] myself and my family, I’m just not going to put up with that. I’m a human being, I’m just not going to deal with that.”
About the worst thing a player can do for an organization is criticize the fans the way he did. He had several chances to take his comments back or apologize but instead stuck with his true feelings. And you know what? Eight years of consistent losing will do that to you. The gesture is taking it too far, and telling fans not to come to games is probably the wrong thing to say, but because of Raiola I now want the Lions to actually win a game.