A former the retired from the NFL to pursue what makes him happy. Now Disney is pursuing him. for
was born on a San Diego, California, naval base in 1987 to Caronda and ,but he grew up in Houston, Texas where he played at Alief Taylor High School.
After graduating, Bennett played the , who drafted him in the second round of the 2008 . for Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas (Gig ’em!) before beginning his NFL career with
According to the NFL, Bennett played for the until 2012 when he began playing for the Giants. His NFL career continued with the from 2013 to 2015 before Bennett joined the in 2016 as the team’s .
But according to The Atlantic, Bennett’s time in the are notorious for prowess. didn’t afford him all the pomp and circumstance and glory one might have imagined it would. After all,
So after a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, got on a plane bound for Japan in search of inspiration. Bennett says that during a spiritual journey through the Land of the Rising Sun, Bennett visited Kyoto and Tokyo (with a tour guide recommended to him by his friend and former quarterback ), he found the inspiration he’d hope to find.
“It hit me,” Bennett said. “I do not love everything that I do. In fact, I hate more about it than I love.”
That day, , a 10-year veteran of the NFL, hung up his cleats for good so he could pursue what he loves, what makes him happy, and what brings meaning and fulfillment to him.
And now, Disney is pursuing him.
That’s because for all his NFL success, wasn’t happy with only being known as an . While many know of his skills on the field, what they might not know is that Bennett began writing children’s books in 2014.
“I don’t want anyone to bring up Super Bowls,” Bennett said. “I want them to say, ‘Oh, and he played .'”
Before stepped onto the Palisades Stage at Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure at Disneyland, a Walt Disney Company representative handed him a Mickey Mouse hat, which accepted graciously. He secured it to his head at the top of his 6-foot, 6-inch frame and took his 8-year-old daughter by the hand.
The sounds from the cheering crowd of Disney Guests before him at Paradise Bay must have reminded him of those days on the field, but he was on stage this time as Disney announced its partnership with the former . No, he won’t be catching passes from Mickey, but let’s just say that Disney got its first-round pick.
Disney is currently working on adapting Bennett’s children’s book series titled, Hey A.J., into an animated series for Disney Junior. The series is inspired by Bennett’s daughter, Austin Jett Rose Bennett. (Dad just calls her “Jett.”)
Disneyland Resort recently hosted a Disney Junior event at the park, and everyone from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to Martellus and Jett Bennett participated in a celebration of exciting new content coming to Disney’s channel for younger children.
“You know how during the , after a is chosen, they give him the team’s hat, and he takes pictures [with the commissioner of the NFL]? It really did feel like that when [they] gave me the Mickey hat. I felt like I got drafted again,” said Bennett.
During the festivities at Disneyland, Disney Branded Television shared what’s on deck in the channel’s line-up of new content through 2024, which includes the Hey A.J. series.
“Everything that we do, we have the responsibility to tell the stories that matter, and these stories resonate with kids around the world,” said Ayo Davis, President of Disney Branded Television. “It’s been very exciting, and I could not be more thrilled to share all the great shows coming out soon!”
Bennett, who is the executive producer of the new Disney Junior series, says that Hey A.J. appeals to kids and kids at heart.
“It’s awesome; it’s colorful; it’s wonderous; and it’s really funny,” he said.