February is the month of the Super Bowl and Academy Awards. In celebration, we begin with this blog post on some famous football players with hearing loss who have achieved success.
Football stars with hearing loss
Derrick Coleman of the Seattle Seahawks may be the best known legally deaf NFL football player. The 26-year-old fullback has had hearing loss since he was four. Coleman’s fame reached even beyond the sports world when a Duracell commercial featuring his story became widely praised and circulated as an empowering message for all individuals with hearing loss or other “disabilities.”
Flozell Adams is a former offensive tackle who played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1998 to 2009, and for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. Despite a significant hearing loss in his right ear, Adams is one of the top offensive linemen in club history with five-time Pro Bowl selection, behind only four other men. A dependable player, he missed only 14 games in his 12 years with the Cowboys.
Reed Doughty is a former safety who played for the Washington Redskins from 2006 to 2013. Prior to that, he played college football at the University of Northern Colorado. A hearing aid wearer himself, he has lent his fame to promoting hearing loss awareness and the importance of amplification. Doughty is also a champion for organ donation, particularly for Americans with kidney disease.
Extra fun fact: The football huddle was invented 1890 at Gallaudet University, a university designated for the Deaf and hard of hearing, to keep the opposing team from peaking in on the Deaf players strategizing in sign language.
Stay Tuned: Later this month, we’ll feature Hollywood stars with hearing loss!