NFL player Michael Bennett said he was so inspired by Chance the Rapper’s $1 million donation Monday to Chicago Public Schools that he decided to make a difference in his own way.
Bennett, who plays defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, released a statement Thursday that credits Chance for the work he is doing to uplift others. It also announces Bennett’s own pledge to support inner cities and help provide a better future for boys and girls across the country.
“I was inspired by Chance the Rapper to ‘think bigger’ when he pledged one million dollars to Chicago kids and their school system,” Bennett said in a statement, according to ESPN. “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,” he added.
Bennett, who also wrote an essay in support of the women’s strike on Wednesday, said he will be donating 50 percent of the proceeds from his jersey sales this year to programs and initiatives that promote healthy living in underserved communities. He also encouraged other athletes to join the cause.
“I’m asking all professional athletes to join me by donating a portion of your endorsements this year to a cause of your choice,” Bennett said. “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.”