Dear Black Boy

New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett took to Instagram last night after learning more details about recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. He shared some words of inspiration on his account, and we asked him to expand on those thoughts here. His message appears below.


Dear Black Boy,

The quest for freedom continues.

We must lace up our shoes to do more than run another sprint, dunk another ball, catch another pass or rap another lyric.

We must lace our shoes and run toward freedom — cheering on those who are training and running our same race, picking up those like us who get tired or distracted on their way to the finish line.

Freedom is still a giraffe and a half away. So we must run another lap, like the greats before us who ran the same race.

And we must pick up the pace.

The low-hanging fruit is what the world prefers you to reach for, but we must climb the tree. Climb higher and you will discover that the fruit at the top of the tree is better than gold.

The game of life is the one game they don’t think we can win, but this must be the greatest game ever played. Millions have marched, millions have fought, millions have died. Millions continue to run … for freedom.

Run, Black Boy, Run! For you can change the world for us all.

Train, Black Boy, Train! For we will need you to be in shape because the journey will be a long one.

Dream Bigger, Black Boy, Dream Bigger! For your dreams are valuable. No one can take those from you. You deserve to dream the wildest dreams and chase those dreams the same way you chase a loose ball in the fourth quarter, a running back breaking free down the sideline or a fly ball in the outfield.

Set Goals, Black Boy, Set Goals! Slam-dunk those goals the same way you do an alley-oop. For your goals in life are worth so much more than two points. Shatter the glass!

Exercise, Black Boy, Exercise! Exercise your right to speak your mind, to pursue happiness, to seek peace and prosperity, to avoid conformity imposed by the small minds of society. Exercise until you’re drenched in sweat.

Think, Black Boy, Think! For your mind is your greatest tool.

Move Forward, Black Boy, Move Forward! For we know where we’ve been, but where will you take us next?

Win, Black Boy, Win! For the world needs more winners who look like you.

Pick up hope, get in the game and show us what you can do. For this is the greatest game that you will ever play. We need you!

Team, on three! One. Two. Three. Team! #blacklivesmatter