NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - At 6′2″, 240 pounds, Demario Davis cuts an imposing figure. Davis is a ruthless tackler, and a film room junkie.
“I study my opponent so closely. I know what your fixing to do, before you know what you’re fixing to do,” said Saints linebacker Demario Davis. “I know what your coach is asking you to do. I’ve studied every movement you’re about to make, and I’m anticipating that.”
Only two years in the Black and Gold, Davis has established himself as one of the rocks in the Saints defense. He’s a team captain, has never missed a game, and thinks his best is yet to come.
“Here I am, year nine, where other people are peaking or hitting the curve and going down the other way, and I’m playing my best ball. I make All-Pro for the first time. It’s an amazing blessing to be able to play this game, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything," said Davis.
But while 2019 became Davis’ best season, he also ran into a little trouble while filling in for Drew Brees in the pre-game chant in Seattle.
“When Drew went down I stepped into the huddle. When I stepped into the huddle and did the speech, that went viral. I think the NFL saw it, my face plastered with the “Man of God” headband, and said oh no we can’t allow that," said Davis.
The NFL hit Davis with a $7,000 fine for wearing the “Man of God” headband, which is not approved by the league. The Mississippi native had zero problem paying the fine, but Demario wanted to continue wearing that headband. He took to social media to get the temperature of the Who-Dats on this controversy.
“Hey man, wear the headband, we’ll pay your fine. Some people were like I don’t have the money, but I’ll send a $100 to your fine.’ I was like you know what would be even better, I give people the opportunity to buy the headbands and do some good with it,” said Davis.
And he did just that. Davis sold the headbands to fans and donated that money to St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. A place his mother once worked for more than 20 years.
Plus, the NFL rescinded the fine and Davis wound up giving that money to the hospital as well.
“Yes indeed. Of course, that picture with Demario and his family. His wife, his new baby, his children and his mother with the headbands. Man of God, woman of God, child of God, it was just a profound picture. We were really surprised, happily surprised, blown away you might say," said Sister Mary Dorothea of St. Dominic’s Hospital.
The sale of Davis’s headband helped raise nearly $300,000 for St. Dominic’s emergency room expansion. Now the publicity generated from the headbands, well that’s continuing to help the hospital raise funds to this day.
“People see this, and they’ll say they’ve been there, been a patient there. It inspires people to give. But the headband, the sale of those, it went viral, just went viral. Of course, social media picked it up. It was on FOX, ESPN, so St. Dominic’s benefited from a lot of publicity, good publicity," said Sister Mary Dorothea.
“Which is mind-blowing. You’re talking about a $7000 fine that turned into a $300,000 win for a hospital that is rebuilding their emergency room. Only God can do that," said Davis.
Davis is a football player, philanthropist, social activist, mentor, and an author. From visiting Flint, MI. during their water crisis, or going to the border to help immigrants in need, Davis is a true renaissance man.
“It’s just right, it’s the right thing to do. But not just help the people that look like you, and the community you come from. I try to help people to see it’s about standing up for what’s right. One of my favorite quotes is, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. If you look at oppression, some kind of injustice happening in our society, and you turn a blind eye to it, your part of the problem,” said Davis.
Davis also tries to help teenagers in the inner city. He started the Devoted Dreamers Project in 2018 which is a 7-on-7 football team to help kids become successful spiritually, mentally and physically.
“I understood how many guys were part of the journey, and part of the marathon when I was coming up. When I crossed that finish line, and entered into success, how few of them were still with me. Because of the pitfalls and scenarios that happened along the way. So I wanted to create a program and an organization that would capture those kids, and prevent them from falling through the cracks,” said Davis.
“It inspires me to be a better person. To give back when I get older. Davis is 31-years-old but believes he’s still got a lot of gas in the football tank,” said Deion Smith, Devoted Dreamers wide receiver.
So this offseason, Demario will be working in the community, and working to right a wrong that happened in the Dome this past January and bring another championship to the Crescent City.
“I really want it for this organization. I want it for the coaches, for Drew, for myself, for my teammates. I want it for this community. To want something so bad and not get it, it’s disappointing," said Davis.