Cardinals’ Derrick Coleman overcomes hearing loss to live out dream

Nov 28, 2018, 4:16 AM | Updated: 7:22 am
(Ali Vetnar/KTAR)...
(Ali Vetnar/KTAR)
(Ali Vetnar/KTAR)

PHOENIX — Arizona Cardinals fullback Derrick Coleman is the NFL’s first legally deaf player.

Tuesday afternoon, he shared his stories about overcoming hearing loss, bullying and now living out his dream playing in the NFL to roughly 250 students at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf.

“The main reason I am here is to let them know they are not alone.” Coleman told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Everything they are going through and have been through – I have more than likely been through it.”

Since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Vikings in 2012, Coleman has played 56 games in five seasons with Cardinals, Falcons, and Seahawks.

Coleman started playing football in middle school after losing his hearing at the age of three.

As Coleman shared his stories with the hard of hearing and deaf students he talked about his childhood adversities facing bullying and not having resources a deaf person needs.

The 28-year-old legally deaf fullback – admitted he still does not know sign language, but says he is trying to learn.

Coleman also spoke to the students about his life and how he managed to earn a spot in the NFL.

“First thing first, we have to work twice as hard as everyone else,” Coleman said. “That’s just natural and how it works when you are deaf.”

Engaging with the students, Coleman talked about how he copes with bullies today in the NFL and how he has to make sure he isn’t left out when it comes to hearing on the field.

He explained how he has become proficient at lip reading and that’s one of his biggest tools on the football field.

When it came time for questions from the students, plenty wanted to know why Coleman picked football and how he has become so successful in the sport.

His response?

“When I found out I could hit people and not get in trouble for it, I knew it was the right sport for me,” he said.

Derrick Coleman won a Super bowl ring when he was playing for the Seahawks (2013-2014).

Wrapping up his pep rally at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, Coleman inspired the students to be bold and never be shy.

He explained to them if you stand back and never ask someone to repeat themselves because of their own deafness they will always remain behind.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook photo | Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police investigating death after man was run over by train

The Phoenix Police Department is investigating an accident after a man was run over by a train and died on Monday.
23 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Scottsdale businessman found guilty on federal tax evasion charges

A Scottsdale businessman was found guilty on three counts of federal tax evasion on Friday, and his sentencing is set for Dec. 5.
23 hours ago
(Facebook Photo / Arizona Department of Transportation)...

State Route 88 improvement along 11-mile gravel section begins this week

ADOT and the Tonto National Forest's project will improve SR 88's resilience during rainfall, limiting the repairs needed after flooding.
23 hours ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
23 hours ago
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks during a bill signing in Phoenix, Arizona, April 15, 2021...
Associated Press

Valid signature numbers debated in Arizona voucher challenge

Supporters of an expansion of Arizona’s private school voucher system said public school advocates failed to file enough signatures to temporarily block the law.
23 hours ago
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs com...
Associated Press

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema defends bipartisanship at McConnell Center

Members of Congress face "intense pressure" to play to the extreme elements of their own party, Kyrsten Sinema argued in a speech.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Cardinals’ Derrick Coleman overcomes hearing loss to live out dream