PRODAY

Martellus Bennett is not trying to be put in a one-dimensional box. The New England Patriots tight end spoke out in a series of tweets Tuesday evening about why he’s doing more than just “stick[ing] to sports.”

Bennett, who recently said he would not accompany his team to their Super Bowl victory visit to the White House in protest of President Trump, laid out why he wants to provide opportunities for kids to develop and pursue their dreams in a country where children of color often face stereotypes that can limit their experiences.

Champions….

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

After a quick promo for his new children’s book, “Hey A.J.!,” which he said is based on his daughter because “only 3% of children’s books have characters of color,” he launched into an explanation of why he’s reaching higher than just football.

“When you look at me what do you see? I know you wanna ask me what sport I play,” Bennett said at the beginning of his Twitter monologue. “I mean what else could I possibly be besides an athlete. When you look at me see the father, the awesome dad, the author, film director, business owner, champion, friend, Hufflepuff beast.”

“Shut up and stick to sports!! Enjoy the low hanging fruits Marty. Don’t climb to the top of the Apple tree and taste that high hanging fruit,” he tweeted. “This is part of the reason why I’m working to build Art Centers and Computer Labs for kids to learn coding.”

Bennett said he doesn’t want to build gyms and perpetuate the cycle of telling children of color that sports are the highest platform they can reach.

“I’m not interested in building football fields or doing football camps,” he tweeted. “I’m interested in doing film camps and coding camps. You don’t have to be good at sports young man. Go upstairs and finish practicing that trombone.”

“I stand on my platform to shout,” Bennett wrote, saying he’s “over the low hanging fruit” and he is “at the top of the tree tossing down the really good fruit.”

At the end of the day–and the end of his Twitter speech–although he likes providing a little humor, he also wants everyone to #StayWoke.

See the full transcript of his tweets below:

“I have two libraries in my house thousands of books. I love to read because I know that for a long time ancestors weren’t allowed to. I love to write. Because for a lonnnnnngg time my people weren’t “allowed” to. So I’m going to write my books, my apps and tell my stories. I’m going to speak my mind because guess what… that’s right for a looonngg time my ancestors didn’t have a voice. When you look at me what do you see? I know you wanna ask me what sport I play. I mean what else could I possibly be besides an athlete. When you look at me see the father, the awesome dad, the author, film director, business owner, champion, friend, Hufflepuff beast. Shut up and stick to sports!! Enjoy the low hanging fruits Marty. Don’t climb to the top of the Apple tree and taste that high hanging fruit. This is part of the reason why I’m working to build Art Centers and Computer Labs for kids to learn coding. I’m not building gyms. I’m not interested in building football fields or doing football camps. I’m interested in doing film camps and coding camps. You don’t have to be good at sports young man. Go upstairs and finish practicing that trombone. You don’t have to rap. You can score films. You don’t have to dunk. You can crossover and own the basketball team. The first thing they tear down are the basketball goals. They can’t tear down your mind. See when [you] develop a vision they try to distract your vision with glittery things. Don’t get distracted. Your favorite athlete stands on his platform to be seen. I stand on my platform to shout. To be heard. They can’t steal your joy when it comes from above. I’m over the low hanging fruit. I’m at the top of the tree tossing down the really good fruit. This is important. I’m important. You’re important. We’re important.  They’re important. That’s important. It’s all good though. I will not get inside the box society provides for everyone at birth. And the box society sent for my daughter at birth we built a rocket ship out of it. Y’all thought I was just a goofy dude here to make you laugh. Well that’s partially true I do enjoy that. 😂 But it’s bigger than that. That’s all. #StayWokeBruh”

posted on 02/09/2017 by Anika Reed
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