Derrick Coleman tells a powerful story. So it’s appropriate that a battery maker would tap into his message to generate sales.
It’s not that Coleman made the Seattle Seahawks after being overlooked in the draft or that he caught on with an NFL roster despite playing the forgotten position of fullback. Derrick Coleman is the NFL’s first deaf player on offense, which, with snap counts, audibles, and the importance of communication, makes the obstacles he overcame rather significant.
Coleman, who scored his first NFL touchdown against the Saints on Monday Night Football in December, captured the attention of Duracell, which featured him in a moving ad (watch below). “They didn’t call my name,” he says of draft day in the spot. “Told me it was over. But I’ve been deaf since I was three, so I didn’t listen.”
Coleman captured the spirit of the advertisement in an interview last week. “The biggest thing is,” Coleman told the Sporting News, “have no excuses in anything you do, and I’m not talking about just the hearing impaired, but everybody. If there’s something you truly want to do, you’ll find a way to do it. And it’s not going to be easy; it’s going to take a long time, and it’s going to be hard. Believe in your dream, and if you don’t get to your dream, make sure you’ve done everything you can to get there. Nobody’s perfect, everybody has something to overcome and everybody still has the opportunity to do what they want to do.”