center Matt Birk(notes)
plans to appeal the $5,000 fine
assessed by the NFL this week after he refused to wear an embedded microphone in his pads during the team's last game against the New York Jets
Birk told reporters
the microphone, used by television production teams to pick up audio at the line of scrimmage, was bothering him before the game.
"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."
A Harvard grad like Birk should know that ignorance of the rules can't be used as a defense. Still, he says he now knows the rule and will appeal his fine. "I've got my 6th kid on the way," he said to WNST
. "I need all the money I can for diapers and Cheerios"