NFL star Martellus Bennett is now a children's book author, too

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett On His New Children's Book

Martellus Bennett had already noticed the problem. But it was put into sharp focus after his daughter, Austyn Jett, was born two years ago.

"There aren't many children's books about black characters that are just going on adventures," the NFL star told Mashable this month. Black characters, he found, tend to star in children's books with directly racial themes. "My library has over 2,000 children's books in it, and most of the protagonists are either white or creatures."

SEE ALSO: NFL star Patrick Willis is thriving in retirement as a Silicon Valley tech worker

So Bennett did something unusual — he wrote a children's book with a black protagonist named AJ, based on his own daughter. The first story, called Hey AJ, It's Saturday, comes out Father's Day weekend. A series will follow.

Surprised? You shouldn't be. This is Martellus Bennett, after all.

Bennett is 29 years old and among the NFL's most talented tight ends. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015, and signed with the New England Patriots this spring. But he's also among the league's more colorful characters, a man with interests that range well beyond football.

ESPN once describe Bennett as "an artist, illustrator, writer, fashionista, musician, director, composer, CEO and, oh, about 87 other things."

Take the shelf that houses part of his massive book collection, for example. Bennett designed it himself, and shared a photo on Instagram earlier this year.

Hey AJ, It's Saturday follows our protagonist on a weekend morning. AJ's parents are sleeping in. She decides to go into the kitchen and — well, you'll have to read the book to find out.

"She's super curious — I think curiosity is one of the most important traits a human being can have," Bennett said. "Saturday was one of my favorite days as a kid and I think the best way to get to know a kid is by what they do on a Saturday morning, so that's how I wanted to introduce AJ to the world."

Two more stories starring AJ are planned for next year, and an app will accompany all three books. But that's just the beginning.

Bennett catches a pass during a Patriots practice in June.
Image: Mark Peterman/AP

Bennett has schemes on an AJ cartoon series, too, and says New York Jets running back Matt Forte will voice her dad. He also wants to make another cartoon series, not related to football but voiced entirely by current and former NFL players. To manage those projects and others, he's launching The Imagination Agency, what he calls a "multimedia production" outfit.

"I've always wanted to create," he said. "I didn't ever want to just be a football player, so I'm just bringing all these childhood dreams together to try to accomplish the things I want to do before I die."

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Follow AOL Sports on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

See the best photos from the NFL Draft

20 PHOTOS
2016 NFL Draft
See Gallery
2016 NFL Draft
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Jared Goff (California) poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
North Dakota Stateâs Carson Wentz poses for photos after being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles as second pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Ohio Stateâs Ezekiel Elliott poses after being selected by the Dallas Cowboys as the fourth pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Dallas Cowboys fans cheer after Ohio Stateâs Ezekiel Elliott was selected by the Dallas Cowboys as fourth pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Florida State's Jalen Ramsey poses for photos after being selected by Jacksonville Jaguars as fifth pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Notre Dameâs Ronnie Stanley poses for photos with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by Baltimore Ravens as the sixth pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: Laquon Treadwell of Ole Miss holds up a jersey with his daughter Madison after being picked #23 overall by the Minnesota Vikings during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: (L-R) Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #29 overall by the Arizona Cardinalsduring the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: Ezekiel Elliott takes a 'selfie' with Roger Goddell during the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theater on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ohio Stateâs Taylor Decker poses for photos with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Detroit Lions as the 16th pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Floridaâs Keanu Neal embraces with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the 17th pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Ohio Stateâs Joey Bosa poses for photos with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the San Diego Chargers as the third pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Mississippiâs Laremy Tunsil poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by Miami Dolphins as the 13th pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick William Jackson III smiles during an interview following a news conference Friday, April 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. After being shut out of the top receivers, the Bengals Jackson from Houston with the 24th overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night. Cincinnati needed a receiver after losing Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Alabamaâs Jarran Reed celebrates after being selected by the Seattle Seahawks as the 49th pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Friday, April 29, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Denver Broncos' second-round pick Adam Gotsis, a defensive tackle from Georgia Tech who hails from Australia, left, joins third-round pick Justin Simmons, a safety from Boston College, as the selections in the NFL football draft are introduced during a news conference Saturday, April 30, 2016, in the team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Fans cheer during the second round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Friday, April 29, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
San Francisco 49ers first-round draft pick DeForest Buckner, left, from Oregon, meets with former Oregon teammate Arik Armstead, right, during an NFL football news conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, April 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Late Thursday night Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones heads to a press conference to finally meet with the media after the Dallas Cowboys took part in the 2016 NFL Draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, at the Team Headquarters at Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

People are Reading