The 49ers are flabbergasted that Colin Kaepernick was given a 15-yard penalty on Sunday for using inappropriate language, and they’re demanding an explanation.
Kaepernick has insisted he didn’t say anything profane or offensive, and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he wishes the league would tell him what it thinks Kaepernick said, because Harbaugh didn’t hear Kaepernick say anything and the officials didn’t tell Harbaugh what they heard.
“I didn’t overhear that,” Harbaugh said. “[Officials] didn’t come back and tell me.”
Side judge Laird Hayes, who threw the flag, stood by it. The NFL doesn’t have a George Carlin-style list of words you can never say on the football field, but the league did make appropriate language on the field a point of emphasis this season, and players were warned that officials would strictly enforce the rule against using inappropriate language, which falls under unsportsmanlike conduct.
“He knows what he said,” Hayes said. “It was the right call.”
But the player Kaepernick appeared to be jawing with, Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston, said he didn’t hear Kaepernick say anything inappropriate. Hayes was apparently the only one who heard anything. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Hayes was the one with the flag in his pocket.