Birk fined $5K for removing mic; will appeal

Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk has been fined $5,000 by the

NFL for removing a microphone from his shoulder pads during a game

against the New York Jets.

The NFL requires centers or offensive guards to wear

microphones.

Birk says he tore his microphone off after it came loose and was

jabbing his neck. He said because he couldn’t reach it, ”I just

took it off.”

He says he will appeal the fine, in part because he didn’t know

he couldn’t remove the mike. He called it a

”misunderstanding.”

Asked if wearing a microphone could provide a competitive

advantage for other teams, Birk said, ”It’s tough to say.” But he

said a lot of the calls sound the same.

Birk says this is the first time he’s been fined for removing

the microphone.