On the heels of Chance the Rapper’s generous $1 million donation to Chicago Public Schools, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has now pledged to donate all of his endorsement money in 2017 to causes that help rebuild minority communities and empower women of color.
“I was inspired by Chance the Rapper to ‘think bigger’ when he pledged one million dollars to Chicago kids and their school system,” Bennett said in a statement. “So, I’ll be joining him by investing in the future of our youth. The system is failing our kids, and it will be up to the community and our leaders to help keep the hope alive by focusing on improving our education system and the future of our kids. Any company that decides to invest in me, just know that you’ll be investing in opportunities and providing inspiration for these families — many who feel unnoticed or go unmentioned.”
Bennett said he will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from his jersey sales in 2017 to support inner-city garden projects. He also called on other athletes to join the cause.
“I’m asking all professional athletes to join me by donating a portion of your endorsements this year to a cause of your choice,” Bennett said. “We can make a difference. It’s up to us to help plant seeds of hope and help fuel the future.”
Bennett signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract extension at the end of last season. Earlier this week he voiced his support for the women’s strike Wednesday as part of International Women’s Day.
Last month, Bennett backed out of a trip to Israel, citing human rights concerns.