Veteran Ravens center Matt Birk said Wednesday he will appeal a $5,000 fine from the NFL for failing to wear a microphone under his jersey as prescribed by the new collective bargaining agreement.
Birk said he had problems with the microphone in warm-ups before the Jets game and when he couldn’t get it corrected, he took the mic off.
“When I went out for warm-ups, the microphone came loose and was jabbing my neck,” he said. “It was tucked in there pretty tight and I couldn’t get it back in there, so I just took it off. Then I was notified that I’m not supposed to do that.”
Birk received a letter about the fine on Monday.
“I will appeal,” he said. “I understand the rules. It’s clear now.”
Still, Birk couldn’t resist a playful plea for leniency from commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I’m not going to get up here on my soap box and proclaim my innocence,” Birk said. “I think it’s a misunderstanding. It wasn’t like I just ripped it off because I didn’t want to wear it. I’ll pay them and whatever the commissioner decides, that’s the final verdict. I will tell him, though, I got my sixth kid on the way, you know. I need all the money I can for diapers and Cheerios.”