Linebacker Demario Davis’ pregame speech to his New Orleans Saints teammates before their Week 3 win over the Seattle Seahawks drew plenty of attention when a video of it was posted online.
Demario Davis stepped in for pregame huddle….
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 22, 2019
It also caught the NFL’s eye, but because of the words Davis wore rather than the words he said.
The eight-year veteran out of Arkansas State was fined roughly $7,000 for violating the NFL’s policy against “personal messages” by wearing a headband that said “Man of God.”
Davis did not wear the headband again in Week 4, instead opting to wear a headband with a cross on it.
On Wednesday, the 30-year-old from Mississippi explained how the situation came about and what he’ll do going forward in an article for Sports Spectrum’s The Increase.
“This wasn’t the first time I’d worn the headband during an NFL game. In fact, I’d worn it every game of the 2019 season,” he wrote. “I think the reason I was called out was because I was highlighted last week by the media during my pregame huddle speech to the team, which seemed to go viral.”
Davis also clarified that he was not intending to violate the NFL’s rules.
“To be honest, I wasn’t clear on the details of this rule set by the league, so I wasn’t expecting the repercussions I incurred,” he wrote.
It’s easy to understand why Davis would be confused: It seems the NFL has been inconsistent in enforcing the rule.
“While I’ve worn this, as well as many other headbands with words on them, to a game, this was the first time it created a stir,” he wrote.
But if Davis is harboring any animosity against the NFL, he isn’t saying so. He was quick to point out that it’s his biblical duty to respect the rules that the league has established.
“The league doesn’t want us displaying any personal messages while on the field. And now that I’m clear on the rules, I won’t go against them,” he wrote, adding, “It’s important not to pick and choose what parts of the Bible we want to follow. The Bible tells us to be submissive to what your authorities are asking you to do.”
While he’ll no longer be wearing his “Man of God” headband on game days, Davis is still confident that his Christian faith will shine through in other ways.
“‘Man of God’ is written on my forehead whether I wear the bandana or not,” he wrote. “You’re going to see God’s mark on my life. The life we are meant to live in Christ will speak for itself; it will stand out.”
Davis and the Saints will be in action Sunday when they face off against the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
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