Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett announced on Thursday he plans to donate all his 2017 endorsement earnings to charity.
In an Instagram post, the NFL star said he was “inspired by Chance The Rapper,” who earlier this week pledged a $US1 million donation to Chicago Public Schools.
Bennett says his endorsement money will be directed to “help rebuild minority communities through s.t.e.a.m (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and maths) programs, as well as initiatives that directly affect women of colour.”
He added that 50% of his jersey sales will go towards programs and initiatives that support inner-city garden projects.
“I’m asking all professional athletes to join me by donating a portion of your endorsements this year to a cause of your choice. We can make a difference. It’s up to us to help plant seeds of hope and help fuel the future. Power to the People,” Bennett signed off.
Chance The Rapper supported the post with a tweet:
The full text from Bennett’s Instagram post reads:
“I was inspired by Chance the Rapper to ‘think bigger’ when he pledged one million dollars to Chicago kids and their school system. 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.
“I have decided to donate all of my endorsement money in 2017 to help rebuild minority communities through s.t.e.a.m programs, as well as initiatives that directly affect women of colour in hopes that we can create more opportunities for our youth and build a bright future.
“In addition, 50% of the proceeds from my jersey sales this year will go to programs and initiatives to support inner-city garden projects, as it’s not only about providing opportunities and art, but to help provide the right nutrition and access to healthy living to all.
“I’m asking all professional athletes to join me by donating a portion of your endorsements this year to a cause of your choice. We can make a difference. It’s up to us to help plant seeds of hope and help fuel the future.
Power to the People,
Bennett already carries out community work with his charity “The Bennett Foundation,” which was set up to help fight childhood obesity. The Foundation says it has spent more than $US240,000 on educational programs.
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