There are two instances of fines leveled against Demario Davis, and they both have a Christian context to them… or is that just coincidence?
Is his faith just incidental to the other facts concerning the fines themselves?
First, there was the ‘Man Of God’ headband controversy, we’ll recap that further down, where he wore a headband under his helmet that said ‘Man Of God’, and didn’t realize that was verboten. (He’s since used it to raise money for a children’s hospital.)
And soon after that was another instance that resulted in a fine. It’s reported by Raymond Arroyo on Fox and Friends Sunday:
When Demario smashed into Jeffery Swaim of the Jaguars last week, in a hit that left Swaim hurt, Demario and others knelt in prayer on the field.
After interviewing the player, Arroyo left the viewers with a clear impression that the prayer and the fine were connected.
Demario, whose interview played on the same show said this about his faith as a whole:
“It’s really to be reflective of Jesus on the cross. The Bible tells us to take up our cross daily. And Christians, as believers, are called to be imitators of Christ. … Most important thing about my belief system, about my identity, is what Christ did for me. This perfect guy, came in human form and died for us, and made a way for us, and died on the cross for our sins. So that’s me, taking up my cross every time that I make a play is to hopefully turn somebody’s eyes off of me to the person who can save you.
Of course, the official story is that he got fined for illegal roughness.
The hit occurred when Swaim was running a crossing route against the Saints zone defense. Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew threw his way, into Davis’s zone, and the Saints linebacker immediately slammed the tight end to the turf with a blow from his shoulder. Unfortunately, their helmets connected on the play and Swaim briefly lost consciousness. He had to be escorted off the field by Jaguars medical personnel and was later diagnosed with concussion symptoms; he remains in the concussion protocol a week later.
For his part, Davis immediately took a knee in prayer, and insisted after the game that he wasn’t trying to injure anyone.
“First of all, I want to say my thoughts and prayers to Geoff Swaim,” Davis told Josh Shipley of Jaguars Maven. “I know he was able to walk off the field, but you don’t know what the residuals are of something like that. That’s very unfortunate so my prayers are with him and I hope he heals up well and recovers from that.”
It was an ugly play, and uncharacteristic for Davis. He’s been penalized for unnecessary roughness or other illegal hits (lowering with the helmet or roughing the passer) just five times in his 120-game career. He acknowledged that serious injuries like this are one of the hazards that come with playing professional football.
Did the prayer on the field for their injured rival have anything to do with the decision to fine? Or is that just grasping at straws?
This came right after the NFL withdrew the fine for wearing a Man Of God headband on September 22.
Davis recently made headlines after he was fined by the NFL for wearing a headband that read, “Man of God” during a Sept. 22 game against the Seahawks in Seattle.
Before appealing the $7,000 fine for the uniform infraction, the linebacker hoped to turn the situation into a positive, he explained, and decided to start selling the headbands and pledging 100 percent of the “Man of God” and “Woman of God” proceeds to St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss. The league eventually relented and repealed the fine.
The black and gold headbands, priced at $25 apiece, have raised more than $60,000, with an equal matching grant given to the hospital bringing the donations to $120,000 to date.
Davis, in his second season with the Saints, is one of the most vocal players in the NFL when it comes to his faith. Describing his reaction to the initial fine, David said he felt “conflicted.”
“Should I continue to wear it because of the messaging or would I follow the rule? Which would bring ultimate glory to God,” he explained on the Fox Nation show.
It was a bit of a typo, sure, but it just so happens that the same team seems to have backing from the Vatican itself.
Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints. They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) October 13, 2019
Demario had something to say about the tweet, too.
“It was a huge blessing, and I like it even more because I feel like it kinda flowed off the I’m a Man of God thing… so now I’ve gotta send the Pope a Man of God headband.”
What an absolutely fascinating time to be alive, isn’t it?
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