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Rapper inspires Seahawks’ Michael Bennett to donate 2017 endorsement money

Seahawks' DE Michael Bennett, 32, is one of the best free agent signings in franchise history. (AP)

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett announced on Instagram Thursday that he will be donating his endorsement money in 2017 to charity.

Bennett, who signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension in December, credited Chance the Rapper for inspiring him to give. Chance pledged to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools earlier this month.

Bennett said the money will go toward helping rebuild minority communities and initiatives that directly affect women of color. Bennett didn’t mention a specific amount of money that would be donated or his sponsors, but he has done ads for businesses including Brotherton Cadillac and Delta Airlines in the past.

Bennett added that 50 percent of the proceeds from his jersey sales this year will go toward supporting inner-city garden projects and asked other professional athletes to follow suit on the endorsement donation.

“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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