While more than 14.3 million tons of donated American textiles help clothe people and families worldwide, with professional football player Michael Bennett’s help, some focus can be turned to kids living in poverty right here in the United States.
Inspired by Chance the Rapper, Seattle Seahawk’s defensive end Michael Bennet has asked other professional athletes to use their influence to promote social change.
Earlier this year, Chance the Rapper gave $1 million to the Chicago inner city school system. Bennet saw this generous act of kindness and has decided to donate all of the endorsement money he receives in 2017 to charities that help to empower minorities and women of color. He also will donate 50% of all his jersey sales to support inner-city garden projects.
Bennet explained to ESPN that he was inspired by Chance the Rapper’s decision to “think bigger” and help those in need. In his statement, he said,
“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.”
As a part of his mission, Bennet has called on other professional athletes to join his cause. He believes that professional athletes have more power to create social change as they are in the public eye and have resources available to them that can really make a difference.
This isn’t the first time Bennet has spoken out on social issues. He has publically given support to Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, has voiced his solidarity for the women’s strike on International Women’s Day, and has recently backed out of a trip to Israel claiming concerns with human rights practices.
For Bennet, this push for social change isn’t temporary. Rather, he hopes to inspire change for the future generations to come. As he said,
“We can make a difference. It’s up to us to help plant seeds of hope and help fuel the future.”