Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has been chosen by his National Football League peers to receive one of the sport's most prestigious honors, The Bart Starr Award, given annually to a player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field.
Davis will receive the Bart Starr Award in person at what is widely considered one of Super Bowl weekend's premier events, the Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast. Through this honor, Davis will join the list of Bart Starr Award winners that includes Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Brent Jones, Kurt Warner, Aeneas Williams, Jason Witten, London Fletcher and Trent Dilfer.
"It means a lot to win the Bart Starr award, and hearing that I won it from Mrs. (Cherry) Starr was exciting," Davis said. "To be recognized for an award that is voted on by my fellow players and carries Mr. Starr's name speaks volumes. I'm truly honored to be selected."
The Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation is built on the principles of "Educate, Empower, Defend" and strives to encourage students to develop the essential life and social skills that will make them leaders of tomorrow. The Thomas Davis Youth Leadership Academy (TDYLA) equips middle school age youth with the practical skills needed to become productive, self-fulfilled and achievement-oriented young adults and community leaders. The program involves the whole-child, extended family and the community. It incorporates a school-to-work focus, academic skill development and leadership development.
Davis was the recipient of the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is given annually by the NFL honoring a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field.