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Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman an inspiration for hearing-impaired girl


Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman got a lot of attention last week when a Duracell commercial spotlighted the fact that he’s the only current NFL player who wears hearing aids. Coleman gained particular attention from one hearing-impaired girl.

That girl, 9-year-old Riley Kovalcik, decided to write Coleman a letter, and when her dad put the letter on Twitter, it quickly became a sensation.

“Dear my inspiration Derrick Coleman,” Riley’s letter began. “I know how you feel. I also have hearing aids. Just try your best. I have faith in you Derrick good job on January 20th game. Go Seattle Seahawks!”

Riley’s dad, Jake Kovalcik, told the New York Daily News that he wanted Coleman to know what he had done for their family.

“The only reason I put the tweet out was so that he can get to see that he’s an inspiration for my kids,” he said. “I don’t think she’s ever written to anyone like that, ever.”

Coleman responded with a letter of his own.

“Really was great hearing from a friend who I have so much in common with,” Coleman wrote back. “Even though we wear hearing aids, we can still accomplish our goals & dreams! If you or your family ever in Seattle, I hope we can all get together & play some sports or games!”

Coleman’s perfect response ensures that Riley Kovalcik won’t be the only one rooting for him on Super Bowl Sunday.

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19 Responses to “Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman an inspiration for hearing-impaired girl”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 23, 2014 10:47 AM

    Somebody should try and get a microphone in front of him after the game and see what he has to say, it could be interesting and inspirational.

  2. bostonian13 says: Jan 23, 2014 10:57 AM

    I love stuff like this. Awesome!

  3. skinsaphrenic says: Jan 23, 2014 11:04 AM

    I thought Redskins safety Doughty also wore a hearing aid.

  4. efoor says: Jan 23, 2014 11:31 AM

    Isn’t Reed Doughty partially deaf?

  5. kylexitron says: Jan 23, 2014 11:44 AM

    Coleman is legally deaf. Not partially. Not that its easy to play a game relying on so much communication in either case, but its why Coleman is getting attention.

  6. icdogg says: Jan 23, 2014 11:55 AM


  7. beastmode5150 says: Jan 23, 2014 12:05 PM

    Doughty isn’t legally deaf. Coleman is the first.

  8. thebirdofprey2 says: Jan 23, 2014 12:28 PM

    Derrick Coleman worked his way from the practice squad to be starting FB and special team standout on one of the few run first teams in NFL. He got hurt and Seattle brought back Mike Robinson and now carries two.

    2 years learning under Robinson, I think Coleman is going to be a top level FB next year. His story is inspirational, glad he is so willing to share.

  9. pooflingingmonkey says: Jan 23, 2014 12:38 PM

    Great story. I saw a feature on Coleman, he’s quite inspiring.

  10. wisconsinhillfolk says: Jan 23, 2014 12:52 PM

    Awesome! I am committed to the support and full community inclusion of folks with physical and developmental disabilities, including those with visual and hearing impairments. This story touched me. Thank you.

  11. lscratchingthesurface says: Jan 23, 2014 12:54 PM

    This is someone as an athlete to look up to!

  12. 49erstim says: Jan 23, 2014 1:09 PM

    Well done. Great story.

  13. cowboysfan1979 says: Jan 23, 2014 1:24 PM

    Finally, a likable guy on that roster…

  14. djshnooks says: Jan 23, 2014 1:30 PM

    This is why my family and I (Bills fans) decided to root for the Seahawks…especially after I saw the commercial, just hours after some 49er fan said Seattle had NOBODY worthy of winning a championship. Eat it, San Fran!

    Go Derrick!

  15. jacqvoncc says: Jan 23, 2014 1:38 PM

    Coleman’s story is amazing! For those of you that haven’t seen the Duracell commercial, I strongly encourage you to check it out! It’s truly inspirational and just goes to show you that if you put your heart and soul into achieving your dreams, it IS possibly. Seeing him score that crazy touchdown off of the deflected pass at the goal line vs the Saints on MNF was awesome! Go Hawks!

  16. 12thmangohawks says: Jan 23, 2014 1:55 PM

    Coleman being legally deaf is another story in a LONG list of Seattle’s amazing talent, however most of the country is blind. All they see is Sherman this and Sherman that. What they either fail to see or admit is that there are 51 guys on this squad who are not overly brash or arrogant, out spoken or “scary”. If sports fans would actually look at who makes up the Seahawks organization, instead of jumping to what the media wants you to believe, there would be a much different opinion. To those of you who hate the Hawks because of marijuana, isolated suspensions, or 1 guy giving an interesting interview after a huge game ending play to send his team to the Super Bowl, think about your favorite team and honestly say there havent been players fined, suspended or arrested over the last 2 years, then throw your stones.

  17. seaeagle707 says: Jan 23, 2014 5:44 PM

    Sherman underwrites underprivileged kids who can’t afford school basics.
    Russell Wilson and Ashton (wife) visit Seattle Children’s Hospital weekly, season in and out.
    Marshawn Lynch helps inner city kids in Oakland, Calif.
    Russell Okung, Kam Chancellor, and others are involved with children’s charities.
    Pete Carroll organized and runs “A Better Los Angeles” and “A Better Seattle”, to help inner city kids to stay in school.
    Nearly every member of the team has been involved in community efforts during this past year.
    John Schneider and his wife have organized an Autism awareness campaign.

    All of which are why the cheap, sleazy, sniping attacks against the humanity of the Seahawks team, bother me so much. They just don’t deserve it.

  18. boyshole25 says: Jan 24, 2014 10:40 AM

    Well there’s two Seahawks ill be rooting for now Wilson and Coleman

  19. masonmay says: Jan 25, 2014 12:18 AM

    What a truly inspiration guy. It’s amazing how little recognition guys like Coleman get.

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