Student Well-Being

Deaf Seattle Seahawks Player Reaches Out to Hearing-Impaired 9-Year-Old Girls

By Bryan Toporek — January 24, 2014 1 min read

Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, the first legally deaf offensive player in the National Football League, is using his story to inspire others.

Earlier in January, a Duracell commercial featuring Coleman’s story went viral:


After seeing the commercial, Riley Kovalcik, a hearing-impaired 9-year-old girl, wrote a letter to Coleman about her and her twin sister Erin, who is hearing impaired. Their father tweeted a copy of the letter on Tuesday:

Coleman, whose Seahawks play in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, took some time out of his assuredly busy schedule to write a letter back to them:


The family appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday to discuss their experience this week. When asked one thing that she really likes about Coleman, Riley replied, “I like that he actually can understand about being bullied, and he actually knows stuff like if you have problems, he’s a guy you could come to.”

Suffice it to say, the Seahawks just picked up a couple extra fans this week.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.