New England Patriots star and Super Bowl champion Martellus Bennett is writing books, making animated films and trying to improve the world.
It may seem atypical, but Bennett is trying to change the narrative of how people look at athletes. He would prefer folks to look at him as a good father, author, film director, business owner and friend.
Here’s what Bennett said about writing books in a recent interview (via Today Show):
“Am I only allowed to have one dream? I had multiple dreams as a kid. Playing in professional sports is only one of them … We need more dreamers. That kid that has the dreams is the one that is going to inspire other kids that build it.”
He also plans to publish a comic book series called Towel Boy through The Imagination Agency, which is his multimedia production company — where he is the chief creative officer.
When other players announce their college during pregame introductions, he calls himself “Marty from The Imagination Agency” instead.
Off-season has begun. Creativity never ends @theimaginationagency We a lot of awesome stuff coming your way this off-season. I introduce to you "Towel Boy" my first comic book will be launching soon. I let him hold the Lombardi Trophy to pose for this pic, but he's still just the Towel Boy! #theimaginationagency #createdbymarty #TowelBoy
In a recent podcast from Forbes, Bennett explained that he started the platform for his daughter.
“I instantly began to wonder what her dreams would be and I thought to myself: how could I tell her that she can be everything and anything in the world that she wanted to be if I don’t go out and be everything in the world that I don’t want to be in the world?”
He said that when he was a kid, he wanted to be: Michael Jordan, Dr. Seuss, Larry Bird, Professor Dumbledore, Deion Sanders and Willie Wonka.
But when he started to read children’s books to his daughter, he noticed that none of them looked like his daughter. In response, Bennett wrote Hey AJ! to help increase young black female representation.
The latest installment Hey AJ! It’s Saturday is interactive and can be downloaded for free.
Bennett is working on animation, which you can see in this video via The Player’s Tribune — where he painted and designed monsters. He released an animated short film called Zoovie in 2015, which stars rapper Asher Roth.
Rather than building gyms or football fields in the offseason, Bennett says he plans to fund art centers and computer labs. Likewise, he plans to host film camps and coding camps rather than football camps.
Here’s what Bennett said about why he’s made this decision in a recent interview (via Forbes):
“Football is not something I can hand over to my kids. There will be another tight end that comes in and breaks whatever records I set. Creativity is something that is forever.”
The Patriots star wants young people of color to know that they don’t have to be good at sports or rap to make money. Instead, Bennett suggests practicing trombone and learning business skills to own basketball teams.
His offseason will be ridiculously busy for non-football reasons. This morning, Bennett tweeted that he plans to learn how to make stop-motion films and become a better jazz musician.
He will also donate money to children recovering from heart surgery at the Boston Children’s Hospital when people buy his #HugFootballMarty pillow.
Ultimately, the message from Bennett is clear: “You can Be anything. You can do anything. Dream Bigger. Imagine More.”