PHOENIX (Reuters) - Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was named the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year on Saturday for his commitment to community service and excellence on the field.
Davis won the award over San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“This award means a great deal to me, as it symbolises the valued work that the NFL, its players, and its 32 teams do in the community,” said Davis.
“I am blessed to have such a strong support system in my family, the Carolina Panthers and the NFL, which allows me to make an impact in the communities we serve.”
Among his off-the-field service, Davis and his wife founded a non-profit charity dedicated to providing and promoting free programs that enhance the quality of life for underprivileged children.
On the field, Davis had another strong season, starting in all 15 games he played and finishing with his third consecutive 100-tackle season.
The award, named after the Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back who died in 1999, is the only NFL award that recognises a player’s off-the-field community service and playing excellence.
Reporting by Frank Pingue. Editing by Patrick Johnston