Patriots Tight End Martellus Bennett’s Twitter Storm: #StayWokeBruh

Martellus Bennett Patriots Bennett and McCourtry (Image: The Shadow League)

 

 

 

Fresh from the New England Patriots’ stunning comeback win at Super Bowl LI, Tight End Martellus Bennett took to Twitter in an epic tweet storm about how he is more than an athlete, and the importance of art and coding over sports for young black people.

“I’m woke,” tweeted Bennett. He also wrote, “Don’t get mad because I found what they thought they could hide in books.”

 

In addition to playing pro ball, Bennett is an artist, animator, author, producer, composer, and CEO of Imagination Agency. Last summer, he launched an app for kids with a companion book he wrote and illustrated called Hey A.J., It’s Saturday.

Bennett told Black Enterprise that he was interested in more than football. “I’ve always been creative. As an athlete, no one really accepts you as a creative. When you are creative, no one really accepts you as an athlete. There’s never been a time in my life when I wasn’t creative. I grew up on Harry Potter. I read all those [types] of books growing up. I was the nerd that could dunk on you.”

He seemed to express frustration about not being taken seriously as more than an athlete in his tweets:

 

Bennett stirred controversy when he announced he would not be joining some of his other teammates at the White House, following the invitation extended to the team after their win. He’s been critical of Donald Trump during the election. When asked why he wouldn’t accept President Trump’s invitation, he said, “It is what it is. People know how I feel about it. Just follow me on Twitter.”

What You Don’t Know About NFL’s Martellus Bennett

Martellus bennett

If you think the New England Patriots’ Martellus Bennett is all about football, think again. This gifted athlete is also an artist, animator, author, producer, composer, and CEO of Imagination Agency.

He just launched Hey, A.J. It’s Saturday, a children’s app with a companion book.

Martellus stopped by Black Enterprise to speak about his multimedia company and his off-season artistic work.

Where does your creative energy come from?

Bennett: I’ve always been creative. As an athlete, no one really accepts you as a creative. When you are creative, no one really accepts you as an athlete. There’s never been a time in my life when I wasn’t creative. I grew up on Harry Potter. I read all those [types] of books growing up. I was the nerd that could dunk on you.

What is your company?

Imagination Agency. It’s a multimedia company. I like to [create] children’s books and animation, it brings families together.

And you were inspired to create the app by your daughter?

Her name is Austin Jett Rose. We call her Jett, and then A.J. are her initials. So I created the character A.J. and the design is based on her. The character’s attitude and personality are based on my daughter as well.

Does she help you with the creative process?

She’s only two, but she contributes. When I’m on my computer she sits on my lap and says, “Daddy, I’ll help.” She will point at things I make and say, “I like this one.” There are probably some things in [the book and app] which are purple, that shouldn’t be purple, but she loves purple.

Tell us about creating the app and the book.

I started downloading a bunch of children’s apps. I found this [development] company with a similar design style as I had in mind. I got in contact with them and hired them.

There are two A.J. books and apps coming out next year. The next one is Hey A.J., It’s Bedtime, and I’m pushing that even further, as far as creatively.

What’s the one piece of technology you can’t live without?

My Microsoft Surface Book. I can write on it, type on it; sketch something really quickly. It’s my number one device.

NFL Pro, Martellus Bennett, Launches Adorable Children’s App

Martellus Bennett

You may know that New England Patriots’ Martellus Bennett holds the 2015 record for most catches.

You may not know that, in addition to playing professional football, Bennett is an artist, animator, author, producer, composer, and CEO of Imagination Agency. He is set to soon launch a children’s app and book series.

The Hey A.J. app is an interactive children’s picture book app. Kids help the main character A.J. along as she tries to make breakfast for herself on a Saturday morning. The kitchen is filled with whimsical other characters, including bacon-frying pandas, monkeys, and horses also trying to cook breakfast.

The app has an accompanying book that is part of Bennett’s Hey A.J. book series. The book, Hey A.J. It’s Saturday, is set to soon release. The book series goes on sale this Father’s Day weekend.

“I wrote the ‘Hey A.J.’ children’s book series to always be there for my daughter even after I’m gone,” explains Bennett.

“As a father, I never want her to not have advice or food for thought from her father. Stories live on forever. This is a big part of my daddy legacy. The character A.J. is based on my daughter Jett and the adventures my family has. I want my daughter [and] other kids of color to grow up with a character of color that focuses on imagination and adventures; not just their skin color or hair.”

During a recent trip to Los Angles, Bennett received several project deals and job offers from notable studios, including Pixar, DreamWorks, and the Cartoon Network.

The creative Bennett also released a buzzed-about rap mixtape, Year of the Orange Dinosaur. The athlete spends much of the offseason in his home studio.

He gave a TED talk earlier this year where he discussed improving the public perception of NFL players by allowing himself to be seen and accepted as more than just a super athlete, but also as a creative professional dabbling in children’s books and animated films.