November 12 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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49ers linebacker Derek Smith was fined by the NFL for knocking down an umpire during the game against the Saints. The $25,000 fine is one of the largest the NFL has to offer, and Smith was surprised to receive it.
The issue arose as Smith was going to make a tackle, he saw someone in his peripheral vision and gave him a push out of the way, he didn’t know who it was - and actually thought it was a receiver trying to throw a block on him.
The fine was for ‘deliberately’ knocking down the official and Smith contends that it was certainly not a deliberate action to take out an umpire. Still he did not say whether or not he will appeal the fine from the NFL.