Martellus Bennett Talks ‘Sticking to Sports,’ Using His Platform on Twitter – Bleacher Report

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HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01:  Martellus Bennett #88 of the New England Patriots answers questions during Super Bowl LI media availability at the J.W. Marriott on February 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2017

In a series of tweets he posted Tuesday evening, New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett defended his decision to be outspoken about various social issues. 

Bennett wrote that he strives to be more than an athlete and create a legacy beyond his career in the NFL:

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.

Bennett’s Twitter declaration comes after he said he doesn’t plan on joining the New England Patriots when they visit the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons, per CNN’s Deena Zaru.

Time‘s Sean Gregory reported Monday that Patriots safety Devin McCourty will join Bennett in turning down the invitation to meet with President Donald Trump.

McCourty and Bennett were among the many players to follow in Colin Kaepernick‘s footsteps and engage in a silent protest during the national anthem. Prior to New England’s Week 1 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the two raised their fists after Kristin Chenoweth sang “The Star-Spangled Banner”:

In the days after his and McCourty’s protest, Bennett said he hoped to raise more awareness about inequality in the United States and inspire fans to begin discussions about the topic, per the Boston Herald‘s Stephen Hewitt.

Bennett also said he felt it was important for him to leave a lasting impact on the world, even if his social awareness directly affected his earning power in the NFL.

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