Fullback Derrick Coleman signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. Coleman has been deaf since he was three years old and played for UCLA in college. In addition to the Cardinals, Coleman has played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks. He even went to the Superbowl with the Seahawks (2015) and has starred in a Duracell comercial, which featured his hearing aids.
He’s also not the only NFL player from the Deaf World: In the 90s there was Kenny Walker, who became deaf after a fight with meningitis. He signed with the Denver Broncos in 1991 and was a regular on the field, starting in all but four games that season. Walker then played three season in the Canadian Football League before his stint as an assistant coach for Gallaudet University!
But who’s the original, the guy who started it all? The credit goes to Bonnie Sloan, who played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973 as a defensive tackle! Unfortunately his fame was short-lived due to a knee injury that ultimately inhibited him from playing another season, but his inspiration lives on in Deaf athletes around the country. These three football players remind us that not only can the deaf do anything but they can do it well!