Category: Sports

This Day in History: The 1st deaf player in the NFL

Bonnie Sloan in the NFL

On this day (Sept. 16) in 1973, the first deaf player ran onto the field for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Philadelphia Eagles. Bonnie Sloan played in four games at defensive tackle and only lasted one season, because of knee injuries, but he had made his mark at the age of 25. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder was a 10th-round draft pick out of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he was the first player to bench press 500 pounds. Sloan was an All-Ohio Valley Conference defensive tackle at the college. The City of Hendersonville, Tennessee honored him by declaring a Bonnie Sloan Day. After Sloan came defensive lineman Kenny Walker. He played college ball at Nebraska and played in 31 games for the Denver Broncos in 1991 and 1992. Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman entered the NFL in 2012, becoming the first deaf person to play offense in the league. Coleman was on the roster for the 2014 Super Bowl pitting Seattle against Denver.

Gally’s NFL prospect

image from Gallaudet.edu

Carneilus Smith didn’t learn sign language until he got to Gallaudet University. He tells NFL Draft Diamonds, “I had deaf roommates and teammates that I had to learn sign language to communicate with them and as well as play on the field with them to lead. Now I’m fluent in ASL in just 4 years.” Read the full interview with the football standout here.
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1st Deaf Man to South Pole

(image from NASA)

Ian Berry become the first deaf man to walk to the South Pole on this day in 2009. The UK native dragged a sled across 112 miles of ice to raise more than $40,000 for the National Deaf Children’s Society. The 43-year-old reached the pole on New Year’s Eve as part of a five person team. Read more about his adventure here.

College Football Player shows off ASL Skills

A video showing an Ohio State football player signing with two deaf fans got a lot of social media attention during the last month. The story behind the video from Ohio’s Journal-News is here. Below is the video:

Tim Tebow helps with adoption

Tim Tebow’s foundation has helped a 4-year-old deaf boy in China be adopted by an American woman. Christine Mullican says, “I’ve always wanted to adopt. I just knew that’s how I wanted to build my family.” Here’s video about the adoption.

Champions on the Football Field

A deaf school’s football team is undefeated this season. WGNO-TV has a video report on the success of the the Louisiana School for the Deaf War Eagles and their female coach. No captions but there is some text here.

Deaf Football Team gets National Attention

ESPN2 broadcast the latest game of the California School for the Deaf’s football team in Fremont this past Thursday. KTVU has a video report on undefeated Eagles.

Hearing in College

My mom and Sam’s mom met in the CI Circle many years ago and became friends. Sam and I had never met in person until we attended the AG BELL Leadership Opportunities for Teens Program […]

Cochlear Implants and Cheerleading

This past summer at the Usher Syndrome International Conference, I met Clare W. Clare is a high school student and is very involved in her cheerleading squad. Clare has decided to share her experiences about cheerleading, […]

The last deaf pitcher

On this date (February 21) in 1875, the last deaf pitcher was born in Kansas. And he was very successful at the game. Luther Taylor won 116 games for the Indians and Giants in the early 1900’s. His final record was 117-103 with a career 2.75 ERA, and 72 of his wins came in his last five seasons.

He was the last deaf Major League Baseball pitcher (Curtis Pride who now coaches Gallaudet’s baseball team was an outfielder). A story is told that Taylor’s manager with the Giants learned sign language. During one game, an umpire who was also fluent in sign realized that the two were complaining about his calls and threw them both out of the game. Taylor was known for his run-ins with umpires, yet worked as an amateur umpire himself for more than 20 years.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2011/07/21/1942484/kansas-150-greatest-athletes-51.html#storylink=cpy