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Former NFL Star Is Writing Children’s Books So His Daughter Can Read About Characters That ‘Look Like Her’

“You’re not just one thing. Don’t put yourself in a box.”

Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett reads from his new book. Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images.

Who says you can’t have more than one dream?


Not Martellus Bennett. The former NFL tight end who played for five teams in his 10-year career, including the Super Bowl LI-winning New England Patriots, now has big dreams for his second career as a storyteller.

On April 11, Bennett appeared on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” to discuss his second children’s book in three years, “Hey A.J., It’s Bedtime!” The books are inspired by his daughter, Austin Jett.

Photo via The Imagination Agency.

“My daughter was born about four years ago,” Bennett said. “You start buying all these children’s books; you’re excited. And I’m, like, I’m gonna share all these stories with her. I’m gonna get Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, Walter Dean Myers, we’re gonna read all these books. And then I saw there’s not a lot of characters that look like her.”

So Bennet wrote his first book, “Hey A.J., It’s Saturday!” which is about an imaginative black girl who finds another world in her kitchen. The book was released through Bennett’s company, The Imagination Agency. “I love [the book] because it’s just a little black girl, and it’s not focused on her color, it’s just focused on her awesomeness,” Bennett said.

When he released “Hey A.J., It’s Saturday!” he told the official Patriots website how he broke the typical NFL mold by embracing his creativity. “I think sometimes in life we learn that we’re only allowed to have one dream, but you can have more than one dream. You can accomplish more than one thing,” Bennett said. “That’s the biggest thing. You’re not just one thing. Don’t put yourself in a box. Become anything that you want to be.”

Bennett’s ultimate goal is to build a theme park. “Disney’s going to be the second happiest place on earth,” he told Noah.

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