METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints linebacker Demario Davis says being fined for wearing his “Man of God” headband helped his cause in the long run.
Davis says he’d worn the headband expressing his faith for several games before the NFL took note of the uniform violation and fined him about $7,000.
The New Orleans defensive captain was able to successfully appeal the fine by arguing that he was not aware that expressing his faith in that way violated NFL policies against using uniforms to convey personal messages on game day.
The linebacker also emphasized that he intended to sell the headbands to raise money for a hospital in his home state of Mississippi that needs emergency room upgrades and he agreed not to wear it again during games.
Davis says the appeals process helped promote his charitable efforts and his faith. As for the fine he no longer has to pay, Davis says that’s all going to his charitable efforts, too.
He announced that he won his appeal in an Instagram post on Tuesday night and said he was giving the fine money and more than $30,000 he raised selling the headbands online to St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi — his hometown hospital.
“That means yall helped me turn a $7,000 negative into an almost $40,000 positive benefiting people who truly need it!!!” he wrote in the post. “Do y’all see how that worked?? Let’s gooooo. That’s crazy! Ya’ll are a part of this journey too!! I can’t thank ya’ll enough either.”
The post included photos of children and adults at St. Louis King of France School in Metairie, Louisiana, who made their own headbands out of lined paper to show their support.
The NFL often rescinds fines in these cases when a player demonstrates an understanding of the rule and compliance moving forward, a league source told CNN.
Davis has been raising money to help St. Dominic Hospital expand its emergency department. The hospital says Davis’ mother worked there when he went to high school in nearby Brandon, Mississippi.