The NFL has rules.
A lot of rules. Some of them are Draconian.
This is one of those times.
Saints’ Demario Davis fined for headband
Earlier this week, New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis posted a photo to Instagram of a black headband that had “Man of God” written on it.
Under the picture, Davis told his followers that the NFL had fined him $7,000 for wearing the headband during the Saints’ Week 3 game.
He asked if he should continue wearing it, but perhaps knowing that a second fine for the same infraction is doubled, he didn’t end up wearing it for last week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Davis was fined because the headband violated the “personal message” rule under uniform violations. Based on photos, it was not the first time Davis wore the headband.
Four years ago, then-Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams was fined for the same violation, after wearing eye black with a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon – during breast cancer awareness month.
Davis’ exact fine was $7,017 for the first offense; the fine for a second offense is $14,037.
‘I wasn’t even fully aware of it’
Davis’ Instagram post got 11,000 likes and over 3,800 comments, with many encouraging Davis to continue wearing the headband and others in disbelief that he was fined for expressing his faith.
The veteran linebacker said he wasn’t expecting the reaction the photo got.
“I don’t think a lot of people were aware of the policy that was in place – I wasn’t even fully aware of it,” Davis told the Times-Picayune. “I just wanted to put it out and just kind of help fans who care about the game understand a more intricate part of the game.”
He said he didn’t like losing money, but saw a silver lining in some of the discussion that came with it.
“Of course you don’t want to be fined,” he said. “Nobody wants to lose money but I think any time that the conversation about God is brought up, especially in these times, I think it’s always a positive or silver lining. If he can get glory from it, I think he can get glory from it whether I personally wear the headband or don’t wear the headband. He’s always gonna be in control of the whole situation. We’re still all good.”
Davis has 28 total tackles, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit in four starts this season, his second with the Saints.