Michael Bennett donating his 2017 endorsement money to charity

It's no secret that Michael Bennett's prowess on the field is matched by his desire to intiate change in the lives of people across the world.

Speaking to NFL Network on Friday afternoon, the Seattle Seahawks defensive end reiterated his plan to donate all of the endorsement money he receives this upcoming season to charities supporting inner-city programs. In addition, he's committing half of the proceeds he receives from jersey sales to helping support inner-city garden projects.

"It means a lot to me to be in this position," said Bennett, speaking to NFL Network's Cole Wright. "To be conscious to the social economics to different people in different communities. ... To have an opportunity for my family and my wife are dedicated to the same thing. My whole family is passionate about giving back and helping people in need."

In addition to his ongoing support of programs helping minorities and women in the United States, Bennett recently teamed up with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his efforts to send aid to famine-stricken Somalia. Later this offseason, Bennett said he and Seahawks teammate Cliff Avril will be traveling to Haiti to assist charitable efforts within the Caribbean country.

Bennett has been one of the NFL's most vocal advocates in raising awareness to the problems affecting minorities and their communities. Last year, he called upon NFL players to do more and criticized those who remained silent on social issues.

He told NFL.com that he has seen a renewed effort by players to be more involved.

"I think it's growing among players," Bennett said. "Especially with the presidential race and police shootings and stuff like that, people are paying so much attention now that they are getting an opportunity to really speak. And I think (players) have to use our platform for the right reason.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many touchdowns you're going to get because your record is going to be broken. It's about how many seeds you plant in your community to change kids' minds, change their trajectory in life and give them the opportunity to do more."

Watch Wright's interview with Bennett, which will air on NFL Network's NFL Total Access at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Bennett discusses Colin Kaepernick, Marshawn Lynch and more.

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