The only deaf player in the NFL to play offensive, helps his team and millions of others reach Super Stardom. The Seahawks Derrick Coleman’s determination and resilience has inspired millions. Coleman’s main message is; “No matter what kind of problem … whatever you wanna do, it is still achievable. You just have to overcome certain obstacles”. Derrick has been deaf since the age of three. Early on Derrick had to rely on lip reading, a skill that has helped him on the football field where he plays in the loudest sports stadium in the league. “My disability is actually an advantage over everybody else. They are trying to hear the play, they really got to focus … all I gotta do is look at him … when things really get loud that’s when I turn to reading lips.”
His hearing impairment required him to work extra hard, but it was his attitude that propelled him forward. In his own words Derrick talks about this with NBC. "Freshman or sophomore year of high school is where I had that mindset of if someone tells me that I can’t do something, well I’m going to try real hard to do it," he said. “If I succeed great, and if I don’t well at least I know I gave it all I got and I didn't leave any excuses on the table." “I’m capable of doing what everybody else can do, whether I have a hearing problem or not. You can’t use your problem as an excuse, because … you use an excuse you’re not gonna get to your dreams”
Coleman is an inspiration for so many young people with disabilities. His message that even though we have a disability, we can do anything really touches so many. Recently, just before the Super Bowl, hearing impaired twin girls wrote to Coleman, and he responded. Good Morning America was instrumental in making the girls dream come true. Watch the video here:
After Duracell ad aired during the Super Bowl with Coleman featured, the ad went viral on You Tube. The commercial had over 4 million views in five days. See if you are inspired to overcome your own obstacles.