SANTA CLARA -- Colin Kaepernick's chances of winning his “inappropriate language” appeal dwindled even more Monday night when Lamarr Houston changed his story and said the 49ers quarterback did in fact use the “N” word following a fourth-quarter interception.
Houston originally said he didn't hear Kaepernick say anything on the play that earned the quarterback a personal-foul penalty and later an $11,000 fine, which Kaepernick said he would appeal. But after Monday's game – and a Sunday report from Fox Sports saying that Kaepernick used a racial slur – Houston told The Chicago Tribune that's indeed what happened.
Asked if he was insulted, Houston told the newspaper it's more a “cultural thing” and reiterated that he angered Kaepernick by saying “nice pass” after the quarterback's third interception of the game.
Kaepernick originally told reporters he didn't say anything. When television footage clearly showed him saying something, he admitted to talking on the field but insisted he didn't say anything “racially derogatory to” Houston. The story has has now lasted more than a week.
Houston himself was flagged for “inappropriate language” in Monday's win against the Jets. He claims he didn't say anything other than “back up” to earn the penalty.
The NFL informed teams this summer that language penalties -- especially racial slurs -- would be a focus during the season.