Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has pledged to donate all of his 2017 endorsement money to help rebuild minority communities and to initiatives that affect women of color.

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Inspired by Chance the Rapper’s $1 million donation to Chicago’s public schools this week, Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has pledged to donate all of his 2017 endorsement money to “help rebuild minority communities.”

Bennett and his foundation will work to select deserving organizations, and Bennett said half of his jersey sales this year will go to programs supporting inner-city gardens. He also said he will donate money to “initiatives that directly affect women of color.”

In a news release, Bennett wrote a letter explaining his decision:

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 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,

Michael Bennett