New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis was recently fined by the NFL for wearing a "Man of God" headband. He owed $7,000 for wearing something with a "personal message" during a game, which is a decision that he appealed. Davis has since won his case and will be using the money to benefit a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi.
Per league rules, players can only include “personal messages” during the “My Cause, My Cleats” program, in which they can promote causes important to them with decorated cleats during Game Weeks 13-15. Other than that, personal messages are not allowed on uniforms. Davis wasn't given a reason for the fine being taken away, but he wasn't going to ask too many questions.
"I didn't get the specific reason why it was overturned," Davis said. "I mean, when you get something like that overturned and you get $7,000 coming back to you, you ain't asking too many questions."
Prior to the appeal proving successful, Davis actually took the news about his fine and found a different way to approach the situation. Instead of getting angry, he decided to start selling "Man of God" and "Woman of God" headbands with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to St. Dominic Hospital. These headbands were $25 each and helped raised more than $30,000 for the hospital.
"We've been able to turn it into a positive and use it to raise funds for a hospital that's trying to rebuild this emergency room. And just to have the support of the community -- and pretty much nationwide -- it's been amazing,” Davis said, per ESPN. “And then on top of that, being blessed to win the appeal and be able to take those funds that I was already counting as a loss and further contribute to the cause, it's just a major blessing. And I don't take it for granted."
Despite being no longer able to wear this headband during games, Davis says that his approach to his career has not changed. He will continue to head onto the field each week with one purpose.
"No matter the case, whether I'm wearing a headband, or whether I'm not wearing a headband, whether I'm talking about a headband, I'm not talking about a headband, I'm always using my platform to glorify God," Davis said. "And that's never going to change. Because I believe he's the one who gave me this platform for that purpose to make his name known. So I'll always be about that."
An eight-year veteran, Davis has spent his career with the New York Jets (2012-2015, 2017), the Cleveland Browns (2016), and the New Orleans Saints (2018-2019). He has started 104 games, including six seasons in which he was on the field every single week for his teams, and has racked up 728 combined tackles and 18.5 sacks.
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