Coleman was the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL, and his story, which has been watched more than 22.5 million times on YouTube, is as inspiring as it is incredible.
But over the weekend, Coleman performed a selfless act of appreciation that is also worth talking about.
He gave up his first-class plane seat to a Marine he met while waiting for the restroom.
Coleman spoke about the encounter with SportspressNW.com’s Art Thiel:
“He said his name was Stoney,” Coleman told Thiel. “He was in the Navy, and switched to the Marines. He had a leave. I told him what he was doing was hard work, and what I was doing was fun, and I was getting paid well for it.
“I asked him if he would allow me to give him this small appreciation for what he’s doing for me and all of us. Hey, it’s just a couple of hours in an airplane.”
Coleman said that the Marine hesitantly agreed to switching from his coach seat, but finally did after Coleman insisted. When the flight landed, Coleman was told by a flight attendant that the Marine smiled through the entire flight.
These are the kind of stories that need to be covered more by the media.
A complete act of selflessness from an athlete who could afford to make someone’s day a little bit better.
Thank you, Derrick Coleman, for being more than an inspirational athlete.
Thank you for being an inspirational human being.