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Monday Motivation: Deaf NFL Player Inspires in Viral Ad

A 2014 Duracell ad featuring NFL player Derrick ColemanA 2014 Duracell ad featuring NFL player Derrick Coleman

“They told me it couldn’t be done,” the 2014 ad starts ominously. “That I was a lost cause.”

“I was picked on and picked last. Coaches didn’t know how to talk to me.”

The voice is that of Derrick Coleman, a former fullback for the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks. Coleman, 26, is the first legally deaf offensive player in the league. And the advertisement, for battery company Duracell, is meant to highlight his challenging journey to becoming a professional athlete.

The clip, crafted by Saatchi & Saatchi New York, is quite a departure from Berkshire Hathaway-owned Duracell’s more recent humorous spots. It ran during Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seahawks and Denver Broncos and quickly garnered millions of views.

“They gave up on me. Told me I should just quit. They didn’t call my name [at the NFL Draft]. Told me it was over. But I’ve been deaf since I was three. So I didn’t listen.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buCd72C1oGA]

Coleman now plays the same position for the Atlanta Falcons. You can watch his team play the Detroit Lions on Sunday morning.

“And now I’m here. With a lot of fans in the NFL cheering me on. And I can hear them all.”