FOXBORO, Mass. — The day after the 2016 presidential election, New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett posted an open letter to his daughter, Jett, on his Instagram account.
"Daddy how will this effect my future?" Jett, I'm not totally sure my love. You'll be 7 in four years, you'll be in the 2nd grade. Your mom and I have a lot of work to do. We will continue to teach you How to love, accept others for who they are, think for yourself, help others in need, achieve what the world deem impossible. It's ok for you to color outside of the lines. I will continue to encourage other kids as well because they'll impact your future directly. The world will one day be all of yours, no time to wait training starts now. So unfold your arms and reach for the stars because if anyone can touch them it's you. Don't be afraid of your tomorrows, make the most of your todays. Training starts today. So stand up you're a GIANT!! You deserve a world full of color, wonder and dreams. Let's color the world together, your dreams are my dreams. Together we can be the change we wish to see in the universe. We have a lot of work to do, but I think we will have help. I am very proud of you! This is a huge weight to put on your shoulders but don't worry about that I'll always be here to spot you. Training starts today. I love you. Now Let's go! #theimaginationagency
That letter came a day after Bennett endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday morning, tweeting, “I’m with her.”
Bennett spoke to the media Thursday afternoon. Here’s his response to Republican candidate Donald Trump winning the presidential election.
On the Instagram letter to his daughter: “I’m just like any other father in the world, just concerned about the future of the children, just like any other parent. Before I’m a football player, I’m a dad, and I’m a husband. So, that’s like my most important job out of anything. Tight end’s cool, but being a father’s like the best job any man could possibly have, and I wish everyone’s able to have a child and be there for them.
“As a parent, I just want to make sure that I’m doing my job to create a community that I want to raise my daughter in. For her, she is the future of America, and all her peers will be futures of America. That’s why I’m such an advocate for kids — reading, coloring, drawing, creating, because they’re creating the futures for themselves. By helping kids, I’m able to help my daughter have a better future. That’s what it’s all about. It’s everyone coming together and finding a way that we can make a better universe for us all. That sounds like I’m Gandhi right now, but I just believe — that’s just who I am. That’s what I believe.”
On if the presidential election was scary: “I think so. Everyone’s a little nervous about the whole presidency, but it is what it is. There’s nothing we can do about it. There’s nothing I can say. The people have spoken. The only thing I can do is try to be the change I wish to see in the world. For me, that starts at home, and that starts with myself.
“I’m not interested in changing other people or who they are, but I’m trying to impact those who are close to me, and hopefully they have the same impact and the same change that I want to promote, they do the same. That’s what it is about instilling those beliefs and those things in my daughter so when she has her chance to interact with other kids or any other people within this world, whether it’s now or 10 years from now, 15 years from now that I’ve done a great job laying the foundation for her to be the type of human being that I wish that she is.”
On the potential divide in the locker room: “Politics are (expletive) up from the get-go anyway. We’re teammates. I’m not mad at people. I love, I believe in people. There may be a bad thing, there may be a good thing, but I believe in people. What your religion is, what color you are, what you like to do in your spare time, none of that bothers me as long as you’re a nice human being when we’re together.
“I have no — I don’t care. I just want to interact with every single person no matter what they believe in, what they do, I’m not against anyone or anything like that. I just kinda come to work and be around everybody. I promote growth in community. I’m not trying to divide or separate anybody, any types of people or anything like that. That’s not what I do.”
On his reaction to Donald Trump mentioning Bill Belichick and Tom Brady at a rally Monday: “I didn’t really have — I mean, I didn’t really think nothing of it. Everybody has their friends and whatever before, whatever it is. It’s just, if my friends were running, I’d root for them too.”
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images