What comes to mind when I think of deaf people playing sports? I can’t help but wonder “are there any deaf NFL players?” I started to research and the answer surprised me. Yes, there have been players with a hearing impairment who have gone pro.
I was familiar with a few famous deaf players. There’s Marvin “Business Man” Goldsmith, who played offensive line for the Colts in the 1950s, and Derrick Coleman, fullback for the Seattle Seahawks from 2012-2015. He was the first legally deaf NFL player.
So I started to dig a little deeper. What other players might have gone under the radar? Were there other players who had some sort of hearing impairment, but not enough to receive the official title?
I found out that, yes, there were. Even back in the 1920s, NFL lineman David Maurer had some form of hearing impairment. It’s hard to know just how many nfl teams run zone blocking severe since there were no official tests back then, but the fact remains that Maurer was still able to play the game just as well as any hearing player of the time.
Then there’s the story of John Matuszak. During the 1970s, Matuszak was a defensive end for the Houston Oilers. As it turns out, Matuszak had suffered a hearing loss early in life, but managed to keep it hidden from the media until much later. Even so, Matuszak was still one of the best players in the league during his time.
So although there are only a handful of NFL players with some sort of hearing impairment, it’s still proof that anyone, no matter their disability, can dream big and make it happen.
These players have also been an inspiration to the deaf and hard of hearing community. They’ve proven that it’s possible to achieve great things, even if you have a hearing impairment.
But what about now? Are there any current players with a hearing impairment? It appears the answer is no. And that’s a real shame since not only has being deaf never given anyone an advantage on the field, but more players with disabilities could be an awesome representation of true diversity.
After looking a bit further, I found out that several college teams have had deaf players. And that’s awesome! We just haven’t seen any transition up to the pros yet.
I guess it’s not really a surprise that more deaf players haven’t gone pro. Not only are there medical tests to take on a regular basis, and the NFL is a professional organization, but it’s also hard to play under the pressure that comes with being at the top.
But I’m still hopeful. Even though it might take time, I’m sure at some point we’ll see a deaf NFL player take the field. Once we do, I’m sure the celebration will be felt across the country.
I found out about several inventions that help deaf players, like special football helmets with built-in hearing aids, and even headphones that pick up ambient sound. These inventions, combined with advances in technology, might make a deaf cheap nfl jerseys player possible.
Another amazing fact is that there are several deaf semi-professional teams. Just imagine how incredible it would be if a deaf player made it to the pros and was playing alongside these teams.
The future is full of possibilities and I’m sure that one day, we’ll finally get to see a deaf player take the field. It feels like we’re finally close.
To see how far hearing impaired athletes have come, I researched the history of Deaflympics. Founded in 1924, the games bring together thousands of deaf athletes from all over the world. It’s inspiring to see that where once they could only gain acceptance through sport, today deaf athletes are praised and encouraged just like any other athlete.
It’s truly remarkable what deaf athletes have achieved, and I’m sure it won’t be long until we see a fully deaf NFL player. I think the biggest barrier to achieving this is the lack of awareness about deaf athletes and the discrimination they often face.
Often times being deaf can seem like a huge obstacle. But the truth is, it shouldn’t be seen as a disadvantage but as an advantage. There are plenty of successful deaf athletes who have demonstrated that deafness can actually be an asset, allowing them to focus and think deeply about their sport.
I have an enormous respect for these athletes, and I’m excited for the day when we may be able to witness a deaf NFL player. The possibilities are endless and it is up to us to make it happen.
Until that day comes, I can look on in admiration as I watch these athletes achieve their goals, and perhaps serve as an inspiration for some dreamers, on both sides of the ball.