I’d never heard of Derrick Coleman, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks, until his team tromped our Denver Broncos. He and his team were amazing on the field.
Then I read an article in the Savvy Signing newsletter and learned Coleman has been deaf since he was three. He wears a skullcap under his helmet to secure water-resistant hearing aids during games and quarterback Russell Wilson takes his mouthpiece out during huddles so Coleman can read his lips.
Two other deaf defensive players have been part of the NFL – Bonnie Sloan was the first deaf player to play in the NFL in 1973 for St. Louis and defensive player Kenny Walker joined Denver in 1991.
Coleman attended public school where he played sports. Instead of giving up when other kids made fun of him and told him he wouldn’t be able to do something, he’d turn his hearing aids off.
His success on the field has made him an inspiration, but his actions off the field, have made him a role model.
He says he did the Duracell commercial so his story could encourage kids in the deaf community to fight for their dreams. His story as the first deaf NFL offensive player to play in a Super Bowl is awe-inspiring to all.
Coleman: “Nobody is perfect. I wear a hearing aid, some people have glasses, some people have depression. Everybody has something. But as long as you don’t let that get in the way of what you want to do, you can do anything you want to do.”
Watch the Duracell commercial and be inspired. [btw, I’m not promoting Duracell, but Derrick Coleman.]