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SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Colin Kaepernick told an auditorium full of media he did not know why he was penalized Sunday night for “inappropriate language.”
“I didn’t say anything,” Kaepernick said after the 49ers’ 28-20 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Kaepernick insisted he made no slur or said anything to draw the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after throwing an interception early in the fourth quarter.
Side judge Laird Hayes ruled otherwise.
“He knows what he said,” Hayes told CSNBayArea.com on Monday.
Shortly after rookie defensive back Kyle Fuller intercepted Kaepernick’s pass, defensive lineman Lamarr Houston approached Kaepernick and patted him on the chest.
Kaepernick shoved Houston away. Hayes stepped in between them. As Kaepernick turned away, he appeared to say something to Houston before removing his mouthpiece.
Hayes called the penalty on Kaepernick. Referee Carl Cheffers announced the penalty was for “inappropriate language.”
According to Rule 12, Section 3 of the NFL rule book, “abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials or representatives of the League” fall under the label of unsportsmanlike conduct.
When reached by CSNBayArea.com, Hayes would not reveal what Kaepernick said. But the quarterback's words were forwarded to NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, as part of the standard officiating report submitted following every game.
Blandino and the NFL did not return calls requesting comment.
“It was the right call,” Hayes said.
During his Monday morning press conference, coach Jim Harbaugh said the officials did not tell him during the game what led to the penalty. He said he plans to pursue the matter with the league.
“I’d like to find out about it,” Harbaugh said.