Former NFL star Martellus Bennett appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show to speak about writing books to inspire children of color.

Since retiring from the league in March 2018, Bennett has published three children’s books through his company, Imagination Agency. His first two books Hey A.J. It’s Bedtime and Hey A.J. It’s Saturday were influenced by his daughter, Austyn Jett Rose Bennett, because of the lack of representation of characters who look like her.

With his latest offering, Dear Black Boys, the Super Bowl 2017 champion wanted to expand that message to boys of color, who may only see themselves in superstar athletes.

“It’s a discussion amongst boys of color with what sports mean to our community, and the idea of breaking us out of that,” he said. “I consider sports to be low hanging fruit for us. It’s like what everyone knows that we can do.”

Bennett explained that Black boys need to see examples successful men who look like them in other industries.

“The NFL is 75 percent Black, so you know you can do that,” he stated. “But the tech industry is only 7 percent Black, so you don’t really feel like that’s for you. When you somewhere in there that looks like you, you feel like they’re the anomaly.”

The former professional tight end’s message is that you “don’t have to dribble a ball to be successful.” By becoming a children’s author he feels he is a living testimony that you can define successful for yourself.



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