Big Win for Richard Sherman and the Sherman Family Foundation

After finding himself at the center of controversy for an epic trashing talking rant against San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks went on to win Super Bowl 48 in epic proportions over the Denver Broncos. After a hail of racial epithets being hurled at him, Richard Sherman stated that a man should be judged for his activities off the field and whether he is an active member of his community.

rsherman1Raised by a social worker mother and a father who spent 30 years in public works, Beverly and Kevin Sherman from Compton, California instilled the value of giving back into their star athlete son. On July 2, 2013, Richard Sherman announced via Twitter the formation of the Sherman Family Foundation. Did I also mention that he is a Stanford graduate with a degree in communications?

According to the Seattle Seahawks blog,

With the help of his close family and friends, cornerback Richard Sherman has announced the launch of “Blanket Coverage – The Richard Sherman Family Foundation.” The All-Pro, Stanford graduate says the foundation will “channel it’s resources to ensure that as many children as possible are provided with proper school supplies and adequate clothing.” Read Full Article 

Prior to the formation of the Richard Sherman Family Foundation, Richard had already developed a reputation with his fans and the community as a charitable giver and philanthropist. He once organized an event for the Help A Hero Foundation which was attended by 7,500 people in order to help raise funds to purchase a home for an injured soldier.

The morning after a victory against the Arizona Cardinals, Richard Sherman went to Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington to speak with students about bullying and being a good citizen. He was also armed with school supplies and new cleats for the football team.

Despite Richard Sherman’s charitable actions and awesome play on the field, it was unfortunate that he and his family felt the need to defend their honor after the word “thug” was used to describe him over 48 times in the media after the win over the 49ers. Buzzfeed decided to take the time to re-introduce Richard Sherman and the Sherman Family Foundation in their ode to him entitled 23 Reasons Richard Sherman is Actually One of the Most Likeable Player in the NFL.

According to Buzzfeed,

Blanket Coverage, The Richard Sherman Family Foundation, provides kids with school supplies and clothes. Since Sherman’s charity was founded this past July, they’ve brought goods to four schools and nine community centers. Sherman’s stated goal isn’t “charity,” but leveling the playing field for kids who don’t have the things most people take for granted. Students sign a contract with him: In return for improving their grades, making good attendance, and being good citizens, he’ll continue to help them with clothes and supplies. The foundation also recently visited the Rescue Mission in Tacoma, Wash., and donated socks, blankets, shoes, board games, and books to 160 families who are homeless or trying to get their lives back on track after suffering from addiction. Read Full Article

I suppose Richard Sherman could use this Super Bowl win as vindication against the racial hate endured as a result of his rant against Michael Crabtree or maybe a possible I told you so could be in order. However, I think he will take the high road instead of taking a victory lap on his detractors. Richard Sherman had every opportunity to paint Michael Crabtree as a villain who at the time was being investigated for sexual assault, and the media never mentioned it while seeking an explanation from him about his on camera rant. Even, I was unaware until one of our writers wrote an article on sex and football.

Although Richard Sherman is still under a rookie contract, you wouldn’t know it from the amount he gives to charity. View the video below to see what the Richard Sherman Family Foundation has been up to in the midst of football season, and you can also connect with Richard on Twitter or on Facebook.

Photo Credits: Richard Sherman’s Instagram and Facebook

Seattle Seahawks Fullback Derrick Coleman Shares His Empowering Story & Inspires Young Fans

Regardless of who you are rooting for when it comes to the Super Bowl, there is no denying the empowering story of Derrick Coleman, Seattle Seahawks’ fullback.  Earlier this month, Duracell released a commercial featuring Derrick Coleman that showcased how he remained steadfast in his ambition to play professional football, and his refusal to be defined by his different ability:

The commercial has captured the attention of many across the nation, especially those within the hearing-impaired community.  At the age of three, Coleman was diagnosed with an incurable hearing impairment that caused him to wear a hearing aid.  Coleman endured the negativity of people telling him to forgo his dreams because of his hearing impairment.  Instead of allowing such statements and attitudes to influence his life’s path, he decided to work harder to achieve his goals.

Coleman had faced setbacks on his journey to becoming a professional athlete. His name was not called during the 2012 NFL Draft.Though he was eventually signed by the Minnesota Vikings, he was cut right before the start of the season. Most people would have given up on their dream after experiencing such crushing defeats, but not Coleman.

After being cut from the Vikings, he decided to go back home, stay in shape, and remain connected to the sport he loved by working at Troy High School as the running back coach. His determination and talent led to him being signed by the Seattle Seahawks in December 2012 and becoming the first legally deaf offensive player in NFL history.

Joining the NFL was his great career aspiration, but the focus Coleman has now is to inspire children with disabilities to achieve their own dreams.  In an interview with Sports News, Coleman stated that he “wanted to inspire people, especially children, to trust the power within and achieve their goals.”  Coleman’s youngest fans are indeed watching his every move, and are encouraging him to continue to break glass ceilings.

Riley Kovalcik wrote a letter to Coleman, and shared that she and her twin sister had something in common with the NFL star – they, too, wear hearing aids.  In the letter, Riley remarked at how she understood what Coleman goes through, she encouraged him to do his best, and stated that she had faith in him.  The letter was shared on Twitter by Riley’s father, Jake Kovalcik, and has since gone viral on social media.

Being moved by the letter, Derrick Coleman wrote a response to the girls, and tweeted his letter.  Coleman thanked the girls for showing their support to him and the Seahawks, and stated that they are more than capable of achieving their hopes and desires, regardless of their hearing ability.

As a person who has moderate hearing loss due to my disability, and wears two hearing aids, seeing Coleman’s story has had a profound impact on myself, like countless others.  Coleman’s story may be considered “inspiring,” but in actuality, he made the conscious decision to not allow his seemingly “limitation” to control his destiny.  Coleman represents the millions of people with different abilities in this country who are shattering glass ceilings and making a name for themselves in their respective fields.

We need more of these stories to be shared so that children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities will know that the only person who can truly hinder their progress is themselves.  Representation of people with disabilities in the media, sports, etc. is needed, and I am proud that Coleman is representing the millions like Riley and myself through his sportsmanship and by sharing his life story.

Duracell Derrick Coleman Commercial (Extended Cut)

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