Giants center Shaun O’Hara said he will “emphatically” appeal a $15,000 fine that the league slapped him with this week for his part in a melee near the end of Sunday’s game.

“It was a very physical game and there was a lot going on, a lot of things that escalated up to that point,” O’Hara said. “The one thing I will say is that I’m always going to stick up for myself and stick up for my teammates. There was certainly some pushing and shoving but I felt like the pushing and shoving was really going both ways until it was escalated.”

That, O’Hara seemed to suggest, came when Eagles DE Trent Cole grabbed O’Hara’s facemask and began punching him in the head. Cole, who was ejected from the game (there were eight seconds remaining), was also hit with a $15,000 fine.

O’Hara said the letter from the NFL that informs players of a fine like this is usually very specific about what rules have been broken. You may remember the letter that was made public when the Cowboys’ Flozell Adams was fined for his shove on Justin Tuck. O’Hara said his letter accompanying this fine was “a little more general.”

“I was shocked to get the fine and have it be in that amount,” O’Hara said. “I thought there was a possibility that something might come, but obviously I was a little surprised at the amount. The one thing I’ll do is go through the process and appeal it. That’ll be something I hope will be justified when it comes to that.”

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O’Hara still plans on appealing the $5,000 fine that was given to him for what the league considered a chop block against the Saints. He said appealing fines usually takes place after the season, so he probably won’t get his chance to speak his mind until February. But the money has been taken from his paycheck already per league protocol.

“It’s bass ackwards,” O’Hara said. “You’re guilty until proven innocent.”

(Photo: AP)