NFL's first deaf offensive player, Derrick Coleman, opens up about not letting being deaf stop him

By Funke Oyelade,

Sometimes we need a reminder that no matter the cards we are dealt, we can still achieve our goals. That reminder came in the form of Derrick Coleman, a running back for the Seattle Seahawks, and the first legally deaf offensive player in the league.

Coleman met with 100 students at Tacoma’s Baker Middle School, who were also deaf, Dec. 10, reported KVUE.

Coleman was an inspiration for the children, sharing the discouragement he felt when told that it would be difficult for him to play in the NFL for the Seahawks because of his inability to hear.

“My grandpa told me that you have to be good of hearing to play for the Seahawks," he said. He wanted to inspire the kids who most likely are going through the trials he went through and show them that they are not alone.

"I've been through it all. I've been through what they're going through," he said. "I just want to let the kids to know they're not alone."

Although you wouldn’t be able to tell it by looking at him, the Seahawks offensive player has been deaf since the age of three, but he never let it stop him.

He wrote about his personal struggle and never giving up for CNN.

“Being hearing-impaired/deaf has made me who I am. The struggle, pain, tears, happiness and joy has put me in the position where I am today. Don't let adversity define who you are. Let how you respond to diversity be who you are… No excuses,” he wrote.

Coleman is not only playing for the best team in the league, based on record, but he also scored his first touchdown in the game against the New Orleans Saints on Dec 2. No excuses indeed.

The video below is a clip of Coleman meetings the kids at Tacoma’s Baker Middle School.


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