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Seahawks DE Michael Bennett To Donate Endorsement Money To Help Rebuild Minority Communities

When Michael Bennett saw another outspoken celebrity put his money where his mouth was, so to speak, the Seahawks defensive end decided it was time to “think bigger.” Inspired by Chance The Rapper’s pledge to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools, Bennett announced Thursday that he will donate all of his endorsement money and half the proceeds from his jersey sales in 2017 to “help rebuild minority communities through s.t.e.a.m. programs (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics), as well as initiatives that directly affect women of color in hopes that we can create more opportunities for our youth and build a brighter future.”

“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,” Bennett said in a press release, which he also posted to his Instagram account.  

“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.”

This announcement comes a day after Bennett penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune expressing his support of International Women’s day.

“It would be easy for me to say that I am supporting this day of resistance because I have three daughters and I want nothing to stand in their way as they attempt to achieve their goals,” Bennett wrote. “I could also say that I am doing this because my wife, Pele — my best friend and soulmate — is of Samoan descent and has lived the struggle of being a woman and the daughter of immigrants. But this issue is a lot bigger than my dreams for my own family. It’s about the women across the earth who are suffering: women who are less worried about a glass ceiling than they are about a collapsing floor. It’s about women of color across the earth who live on less than one dollar a day. It’s about all women who are subject to sexual assault and violence… I encourage my fellow football players to join me in standing with these brave women from across the world. As Angela Davis once said, “To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.” By that metric, our society is failing. We need change, and to quote Frederick Douglass, “If there is no struggle there is no progress.”

Here is Bennett’s full statement on his donation plans for 2017:

 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 color in hopes that we can create more opportunities for our youth and build a brighter 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 in education and arts, 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,

Michael Bennett

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