Above The Drama: Martellus Bennett
Written By: Ashley Nguyen
“Where is he going” or “ Where is he coming from?” “ Is what everybody says to me no matter where I am, and people should think that if they don’t.” – Martellus Bennett
Whether you love him or hate him, Martellus Bennett will always be the topic of conversation. Making sense of Bennett’s handful of stints during his younger years in the league: fines, bad press and popular blog slurs have cornered his persona into a rebel and player of sorts. But last years media buzz about him eloping and his love for art seems to have the medias panties in a twist about what to dub the jack-of-all-trades. Aside from his Southern Roots, a 6’6 270 build and lifetime of athletic accolades, he is everything but a predictable jock. Despite designing his own profitable clothing line Rock-It-Dope, a popular altar ego Rap Moniker “Marty B”, painting, being a full time fashionisto AND playing professional football, Martellus Bennett still has the energy of a 5 year old at 6 am – all day.
As a first round draft pick in 2008 with the Cowboys, Bennett has been in the shadows of Jason Witten. With his recent contract signing with the Giants, he has made a move that seems to suit his eclectic personality and his career opportunities well, New York. We arrived at his condo for the weekend on a Friday night and were instantly greeted by the smell of barbequed chicken in the oven, compliments of his wife, Siggi, and a massive piece of artwork in the doorway. “ This is mine, I got a lot of shit I painted hanging up around here.”
Bennett brags that his office is a safe haven from the world and his favorite room in the house, decorated with Banksy and original Kaws pieces and again, his very own paintings. His Mac computer has every Adobe program known to man, Protools and music even outer space may have never heard of. You would almost forget he is a pro athlete until you hear him talk about Madden and 2k12 in a foreign language and his excitement about getting up for work at 5am.
Gossip blogs aside, Martellus will not be remembered for his YouTube videos or uncensored language or photos. What he will be remembered for is being a true original– real, raw and passionate. He will be remembered for his creative intellect and caring heart. His new uniform as a Giant seems to suit him well as he is stepping into his own, confident and unscathed throughout any slander he has faced in the past. Call him what you want, he won’t care. Say what you like, he probably will prove you wrong just for kicks. And don’t try to back his powerful personality into a corner, he will still find a way to climb to the top.
Edge: Who Is Martellus Bennett?
MB: Martellus Bennett is outgoing, creative outspoken something like a black unicorn. I’m mysterious… Everybody think they know about me but have no idea, and can never get too close to find out.
Edge: How do you juggle being an entrepreneur, rapper, etc…?
MB: Surround yourself with good people. Just like any sport you need a good team or a good supporting cast. For example a quarterback has to have a good receiver or running back.
Edge: Do you have any other hobbies?
MB: I am a pretty good painter. When it comes to art, anything can inspire me from the colors in the food that I eat to the conversations with people that I have. I love colors and energy. Art and painting are great stress relievers. Sometimes I come up with good shit and sometimes I don’t.
Edge: Have you ever felt that you have failed at something? If so, how did you handle that?
There’s a lot that didn’t go the way I wanted it to. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have failed. Failure is not trying. I have tried things that haven’t come out the way I planned.
Edge: How has being married impacted your lifestyle?
MB: It’s totally different. A lot of things that I used to do as a single young black man in America, I don’t do anymore. It put everything that I do into a whole different perspective. I look at life different in a sense that when I make a decision, I am making a decision for two. Anything that I do will come back on my family. It’s awesome because you get to live with more than just yourself…but that’s weird at the same time too. For a long time I did whatever I wanted to do and now it’s more about what we can do and what needs to be done for us, not just Martellus.
Edge: What do you look forward to most this coming year?
MB: This year I am focused more on me and living life and trying to get better as a person and individual. So I want to grow everyday in something that I am doing. I am excited about being a New York Giant this year. I think I will finally get a chance to step into a world where I can do my bit as an athlete and a player. The last couple years playing behind Jason Witten was an excellent thing but I feel like I have grown a lot and learned a lot from that situation with the Cowboys. I’m grateful for all of those opportunities but it’s time to move on and become the best that I can be as a Giant.
Edge: What kind of legacy do you want to leave the world?
MB: I can’t tell you what my legacy is going to be but what I don’t want is to be remembered as the guy who ran fast and jumped high and caught the football. I want my kids to say things like, “ My dad went to Africa and built houses and helped people in need” I don’t know exactly what my future hold but I want to be more than a football player.
Edge: If you could sit with your 5 year old self, what advice would you give to you?
MB: If I could go back in time I would tell myself, “ Hey man, follow your dreams and never give up. Even though there’s some things you do that people will judge you for as a kid, you can’t worry about what they think about you.” When I was younger I used to have to run to school and shit, and everyone would say “ohhh look at Martellus running to school…. “ Yeah I ran all the way to the NFL next motherf***as. Follow your dreams and once you do that you will always end up in the right spot.
Photos By: Jessica Franksen