Colin Kaepernick will receive a reduced fine after the NFL determined that there was no evidence he used a racial slur against a Chicago Bears player. The San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback was accused of using inappropriate language against the Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston, reportedly using the n-word. The alleged incident occurred during a confrontation shortly after Kaepernick threw an interception in the fourth quarter that ultimately cost San Francisco the game. According to the initial reports, Houston patted him on the back after the interception and commented “Nice pass”.
The referee immediately flagged him with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for which he received an $11,000 fine and a 15-yard penalty. Kaepernick protested the decision and filed an appeal, arguing that he did not use the n-word or any other racially derogatory word against Houston. He immediately filed an appeal. Arbitar Ted Cottrell sliced his fine in half to $5,500 after finding there was not enough evidence he used a racial slur. Cottrell is an appeals officer who has been jointly appointed by the National Football League Players Association and the National Football League to make a decision on the case.
Kaepernick vented on social media his confusion with the decision that he still has to pay a reduced fine when a determination that no evidence of a racial slur was made. Cottrell stated that Kaepernick’s use of general profanity on the field was enough evidence for him to receive the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Laird Hayes was the referee who threw the flag and holds the position that he made the right call and stated that Kaepernick knows what he said on the field. Houston initially reported that he did not hear anything and afterwards said that he did hear Kaepernick use the n-word.
This only one of three fines that the San Franscisco 49ers’ quarterback has been faced with recently. He received a $10,000 fine for wearing the wrong headphones at the game against the St. Louis Rams. He was allegedly caught wearing Beats by Dr. Dre when he should have been wearing the Bose headphones that are sponsored by the league. He had to cover up the logo on the pink Beats headphones with tape during a press conference after the game or else he would have received another fine. He did post a picture of himself on Instagram with the headphones placed around his neck, explaining he was wearing them to support breast cancer awareness month. The 49ers’ quarterback won an appeal last week concerning a uniform violation that charged he was wearing his pants above his knees.
The NFL Players Association’s assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah expressed in a tweet his disappointment that the racial slur charge against Kaepernick was only reduced and not completely overturned. Kaepernick still is not sure what he did exactly to have received the fine. He has shrugged it off and is determined to move on. He will lead his San Francisco team to face the Denver Broncos this Sunday. The upcoming game will be aired on NBC at 8:30 p.m. EST on October 19, 2014.
Commentary by Valerie Bordeau
Photo by: Football Schedule-Creativecommons Flickr