New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis said he was surprised that the NFL fined him for a faith-centric headband that he wore this past Sunday. He told FOX Business he won’t wear the headband again, even as he hopes the league will ease up fining athletes for expressing themselves.
This past weekend in a 12-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Davis wore a headband under his helmet that read “MAN OF GOD.” The headband was visible when Davis was on the sidelines but not when he was on the field when it was covered by his helmet.
The league announced a $7,000 fine for the uniform infraction. Players are barred from wearing items that allow personal expression.
“I was not expecting the fine because I had worn the headband before, but once I realized that it was against the rules, I was in a conflicting position,” Davis told FOX Business.
“Should I continue to wear it because of the messaging or would I follow the rule? Which would bring ultimate glory to God?”
Davis, in his second season with the Saints, is one of the most vocal players in the NFL when it comes to his faith. His social media is frequently centered on his Christian walk.
One of the top linebackers in the NFL, Davis had 110 tackles and five sacks in New Orleans last year. Already through four games, Davis has 28 tackles.
Of wearing the headband in the future, Davis said the decision has been made for this weekend.
“No, I won’t wear it, but I’m working on a way to let fans buy them and donate towards a cause,” Davis said. “That way, the fans can wear them for me.”
Davis does believe that the NFL needs to take a look at this topic and consider relaxing its rules when it comes to player expression. Especially when it comes to matters like that this don’t reflect poorly on the league.
“I think it should be a topic of conversation, especially if the player’s messaging is not offensive,” Davis said.
In 1986, the NFL infamously fined Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon $5,000 for an Adidas headband he wore during a game counter to the league’s rule on logos.
That same fine, adjusted for inflation, would run nearly $12,000 today.