Donte Whitner received a fine from the NFL for his unnecessary roughness penalty against the St. Louis Rams.

Whitner told reporters he was fined $21000 for a jarring fourth-quarter hit on Rams wide receiver Chris Givens that dislodged the ball and prevented a Rams touchdown. Whitner was flagged for unnecessary roughness and the play helped set up St. Louis’ only touchdown in a 35-11 loss to San Francisco.

“I’m not happy with it” Whitner said on Tuesday shortly after he opened a letter from the league office to receive the news.

“Still in my heart I feel like it was legal” Whitner added. “I can’t change the way I play so we’ll see what happens.”

Whitner has never been fined for unnecessary roughness and was surprised by the dollar amount of his recent fine. Whitner has previously been docked for uniform violations.

The 49ers starting strong safety felt like he struck Givens with proper fundamentals and was shocked to see a penalty flag come out in the lopsided win.

“I was going to the midsection where the ball is with my shoulder” Whitner said. “You could actually see me turn to lay off the head. If I would have run through the guy then I think I would have actually deserved that.

“I can appeal it and see what they say.”

Whitner is hopeful the fine will be lowered by the NFL.