Martellus Bennett plays football for a living. He has won a Super Bowl, made a Pro Bowl and played for five different premier NFL franchises (Cowboys, Giants, Bears, Patriots, Packers).

But his current message to children? Sports isn't the only cool thing out there.

Bennett spoke with ThePostGame in late June after appearing on a Nickelodeon-led panel at the Hashtag Sports conference in New York City. Always candid, the tight end was not afraid to discuss how he can inspire children off the field.

"I'm just trying to be the change in the world that I want to see," Bennett says. "That's Gandhi, but it rings true to all of us. For me right now, it's just about empowering the youth and knowing they don't only have to play sports. They could create, they could make things, there's different avenues for them to go down, different paths they can travel. That's the biggest thing for me right now, just being a catalyst and a voice for the kids from communities that I come from that no longer do you just have to pick up a ball and play this game. But you could do music, you could do film, you could write, you could create, you could code. There's so many different things that are cool. Sports aren't the only cool thing.

"Whatever it is you're making, get in the digital space, start creating apps. We need more inventors. We need more African-American inventors and innovators in the space of technology and things like that. So, for me, from children's books to having more characters on the screen that look like us, that's what I'm big on right now. Animation, live-action and all those platforms and all those facets."

Bennett and older brother Michael, 31, have been outspoken advocates of social justice in their roughly decade in the league. After winning this past February's Super Bowl with the Patriots -- Martellus had five receptions for 62 yards in the championship game -- Bennett immediately told reporters he would not attend the team's White House visit with President Donald Trump. He followed through on that plan, instead spending the day with comedian Chelsea Handler.

Bennett, now a member of the Packers, is the Creative Director of Awesomeness for The Imagination Agency. In traditional adult terms, he's the founder of the company. The Imagination Agency creates children's content, such as books, videos and action figures. During this past season, Bennett actually listed himself as being from The Imagination Agency in Sunday Night Football introductions.

Martellus and Michael were both honored for their philanthropic work this past year as recipients of the Shine a Light Award at last month's BET Awards and $10,000 will be donated on the brothers' behalf.

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