Seattle Seahawks’ defenseman Michael Bennett has announced that he will be donating all endorsement money he gets in 2017 to causes that are aimed at communities of color around the nation, according to a statement released on Thursday.
Following the lead of Chance The Rapper, who donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday, Bennett says that not only would he give his financial support to communities in need, but encouraged other pro athletes to do the same.
“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,” Bennett said in the statement. “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.”
The money Bennett is donating will go to help minority communities through STEAM educational programs and initiatives targeted at women of color.
In addition to the endorsement money donations, Bennett said he would donate half of his jersey sale proceeds to inner city garden projects to encourage good nutrition and healthy living.
Bennett is known for having a socially active voice. Earlier this week, he came out in support of the women’s strike for International Women’s Day on Wednesday in an essay posted on The Players’ Tribune.
Last month, he pulled out of a trip to Israeli government-sponsored trip to that nation in which he was scheduled to travel with a group of NFL players, due to human rights concerns in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
“When I do go to Israel — and I do plan to go — it will be to see not only Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians…live their lives,” he wrote in an Instagram post.