Hearing-Impaired NFL Fullback Reaches Out to Deaf Fans

Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman offers heartfelt advice to nine-year-old girl following Twitter exchange

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Elaine Thompson / AP

Seattle Seahawks' Derrick Coleman speaks with members of the media about how he can read lips, before an NFL football practice Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in Renton, Wash.

After booking a trip to the Super Bowl last weekend, Seattle Seahawks full-back Derrick Coleman took time out from his demanding schedule to offer inspirational words of wisdom to a nine-year-old fan in New Jersey.

Coleman, the first deaf offensive player in the National Football League, penned Riley Kovalcik, who is also hearing-impaired, a personal note, after she reached out to him through her father’s Twitter feed on Tuesday.

Coleman responded in kind to Kovalcik and her twin sister, inviting their family to hang out if they were ever in the Seattle area.

“I want you to know that I always try my best in everything I do and have faith in you and your twin sister too,” responded Coleman in a handwritten letter published on Twitter. “Even though we wear hearing aids we can still accomplish our goals and dreams!”

While still a newcomer to the league, the full-back’s profile has skyrocketed since he was featured in a Duracell commercial that debuted earlier this month.

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