A Christian player was fined by the National Football League (NFL) for wearing a bandanna with the legend “Man of God.” The sanction aroused controversy on social networks.
The captain of the New Orleans Saints, Demario Davis, must pay approximately $7,000 after being fined by the NFL following the Week 3 clash against the Seattle Seahawks.
“So, I got fined $7K for my headband,” the football star wrote to his fans, asking, “Should I continue to wear it, or nah?”
Davis accompanied his posting with the hashtag “let the people decide,” “man of the people,” and “man of God.”
The fine, which generated widespread criticism on social networks, was issued under the NFL rule against players who use “personal messages” during games.
According to the New Orleans website NOLA, if Davis commits the same action again, the minimum fine would be $14,037.
Many people said the NFL is usually harsh when players use religious legends, but not in other cases.
“Whatever has to do with Jesus Christ is a fine. In today’s satanic world, it is a crime to profess your love for Christ,” wrote the user @therealfredlee.
Certainly, this is not the first time that NFL sanctions have generated controversy.
The Steelers’ defensive end, Cameron Heyward, was fined more than $25,000 for a series of messages in his eye black intended to honor his late father in 2015.
A year later, another Steelers player, running back DeAngelo Williams, was fined nearly $6,000 for the “Find the Cure” message in his eye black. Williams has lost his mother and four aunts to breast cancer.
The Role of Faith
“My faith is always going to be the most important aspect of my leadership,” Davis said years ago after being consulted about the success of his athletic career.
“I wanted guys to know that I put God first, I put my family second, and I put football third,” he said in an interview with AP.
In fact, a video posted on Twitter by the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 29 shows Davis rallying his teammates before a Week 4 game against the Cowboys. In the film Davis is seen with a headband with a cross.
So far, it has not been known if this new headband will replace the “Man of God” or if the NFL will consider that the cross is also a “personal message.” What is clear is that Davis will not let the NFL authorities censor the expression of his belief.