Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis did not join the wave of protests that swept across the NFL on Sunday, but he made a gesture that many found moving during the national anthem.
Davis pressed his palms together against his forehead in prayer as he stood. Panthers team photographer Melissa Rodriguez captured an image of the moment, which Davis later posted on his Instagram page. Davis said in the post that he will keep praying during the anthem.
“I am a firm believer that prayer changes things and as a country, we must stick toether,” Davis wrote in the post. He expanded more on his gesture on Thursday in the Panthers locker room.
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“It’s something that I plan on doing for the rest of the season,” he said. “I just feel like just where we are right now, that’s what we need. We all need prayer.”
Davis was also one of the team captains who attended this week’s meeting at the house of owner Jerry Richardson, to discuss social issues and the demonstrations over the weekend, in which all Panthers except for defensive end Julius Peppers did not participate.
“It was a very productive meeting,” Davis said. “We feel like Mr. Richardson really understands our thought process moving forward.”