NFL Star Martellus Bennett Isn't Afraid To Dress Like A Dinosaur To Inspire His Daughter

"I don’t want my kids to grow up in a world that lacks creativity and imagination."

Martellus Bennett has been busy since winning Super Bowl LI with the New England Patriots and signing with the Green Bay Packers earlier this year — but not with two-a-days. Instead, Bennett has been wrapped up in making books for children with diverse characters.

"I don't want my kids to grow up in a world that lacks creativity and imagination," Bennett tells Adweek. "I truly believe that children are the future, which means they will be the creators of our tomorrows." To feed their imaginations, Bennett's company — The Imagination Agency — additionally creates videos documenting the NFL Player's journey with his family and, most importantly, publishes his book.

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Last year, he released his first title, Hey AJ: It's Saturday, about a little girl with a huge imagination, who is inspired by his daughter, Austin Jett. "There aren't many children's books about black characters that are just going on adventures," Bennett told Mashable in 2016. "My library has over 2,000 children's books in it, and most of the protagonists are either white or creatures." The book received a lot of attention, helping to push the importance of diversity in kids' books. Following the release of the first book, The Imagination Agency released an app to create more content for Bennett's creative universe.

 There are clips posted to YouTube of him reading with his daughter, sometimes dressed up as Batman, a dinosaur, or even Santa Claus, proving the fun doesn't have to be limited to the pages. Although it seems unusual for an active NFL Player to dress in costumes and read children's books, Bennett has always had a personality unparalleled to the others. Most importantly, he's doing it for the person who mattered most to him: Austin Jett.

Although his goal of producing children's books continues, it's not the only one for the All Pro athlete. During the offseason, Bennett's YouTube channel has published more content and he made a donation to Boston Children's Hospital this month by selling pillows in his likeness.

But beyond the catches and blocks on the football field, his work on the creative side seems to be resonating now and with generations to come. During the recent BET Awards, Bennett along with his brother, Michael, was awarded $10,000 in recognition of the Shine A Light Award, an honor from the network and the My Black Is Beautiful Foundation for their contributions to creating new opportunities for young Black youth. (Michael announced that he would be donating all of his endorsement funds for the 2017 season to programs focused on rebuilding minority communities and inspiring women of color.)

"Brash, outspoken leaders on and off the field, these brothers used their platform as Super Bowl champion athletes to impact minority communities by remaining true to their mission," SportCenter host Cari Champion said the night of the ceremony, "and, it's very clear, to change the mindset of our culture."

(H/T: Adweek)

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