Panthers LB Thomas Davis wins NFLPA’s Byron ‘Whizzer’ White Award

SAN FRANCISCO — Thomas Davis isn’t just one of the NFL’s best players.

He’s also among the most benevolent.

Three days before je plays in his first Super Bowl, Davis received a prestigious honor that in many ways is even more impressive than a Lombardi Trophy. The Carolina Panthers linebacker was named the 2016 NFL Players Association’s Byron "Whizzer" White Award winner for his community service work.

The selection comes one year after Davis was named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year for the same reason.

Davis and his wife Kelly founded the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation in 2008 focused on helping underprivileged children in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Among the services the foundation helps provide are mentoring, free football camps, and giveaways involving school supplies and food around the holidays.

Davis will receive a $100,000 donation from the NFLPA for his foundation.

Voters selected Davis among a five-candidate field that also included Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch, Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker, New Orleans tight end Ben Watson and New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings. Each will receive a $15,000 NFLPA donation for their foundations or charity of their choosing.

Davis couldn’t personally attend the ceremony at the Moscone Center but his absence was understandable. He was participating in Panthers practice despite having undergone surgery 10 days earlier for a broken forearm.