SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will probably pay up that $11,025 fine for using “inappropriate language,” now verified as being the “N” word by Chicago Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston.
Kaepernick appealed the fine after he originally denied he said anything “racially derogatory” to Houston, who initially said he didn’t hear anything after the 49ers quarterback threw a fourth-quarter interception in their Sunday night game in Week 2.
The official who threw the flag, side judge Laird Hayes, wouldn’t specifically say what he heard from Kaepernick’s that warranted a penalty, but he told CSNBayArea.com that Kaepernick “knows what he said. It was the right call.”
The Bears staged a dramatic comeback to win that Sept. 14 game in the 49ers’ debut at Levi’s Stadium, 28-20.
But after Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported Kaepernick used a racial slur, Houston told the Chicago Tribune that was true, although Houston downplayed the significance of the exchange.
“He was just saying inappropriate language,” Houston told the Tribune. When asked if he was insulted by it, Houston replied it was a “cultural thing.”
Houston did not elaborate further on what he meant by “cultural thing.” He is black and, although Kaepernick identifies himself as black, his heritage is also half Czech and Irish and he was adopted and raised by a Caucasian family. Hayes, an educator who carries the title Dr. Laird Hayes, is Caucasian and will be 65 years old on Oct. 3.
Houston did not change his story on what happened against the 49ers until after he was flagged for inappropriate language Monday night against the New York Jets.
Houston said the official thought he was cussing at Jets running back Chris Johnson when the player contends he just shouted at him to “back up.”
NFL officials were told this year to monitor inappropriate language during games.