The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the NFL proudly announce that Super Bowl LVII in Arizona on February 12, 2023 will feature Deaf performers Troy Kotsur, Colin Denny, and Justina Miles as part of pregame festivities. Oscar winner and Arizona native Troy Kotsur will provide the American Sign Language (ASL) performance of the National Anthem. Colin Denny, a Deaf Native American from Navajo Nation in Arizona, will perform America the Beautiful through a blend of ASL and North American Indian Sign Language. For the first time ever, there will be an ASL rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing at the Super Bowl, done by Justina Miles, a Philadelphia born performer now living in Maryland. On top of that, Justina will also perform in ASL the music of Rhianna during the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show. Information on where to best watch these sign language performances will be shared when it becomes available.
Actor Troy Kotsur is renowned for his extraordinary ability to use American Sign Language to convey a magnificent range of emotion and communication, representing stories from Deaf Communities at the highest level. For his outstanding performance in the Oscar winning film CODA, where he played the compelling and cantankerous Deaf father in a Deaf family with one hearing daughter, Kotsur became only the second Deaf person to win an Academy Award. Kotsur’s performance in this role also saw him win Best Supporting Actor awards from BAFTA, the Critics’ Choice, Gotham Awards, Independent Spirit, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and more. He has performed on Broadway in Spring Awakening and in numerous stage productions by Deaf West Theater and the National Theatre of the Deaf. Kotsur was most recently seen on television acting in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, for which he created the Tusken sign language. The language he created was also used in the show’s spinoff series The Book of Boba Fett. He will next appear in a Disney+ series about the California Riverside School for the Deaf football team that recently won the state championship. [photo credit: Matt Stasi]
Born in Shiprock, New Mexico and raised in Pinon, Arizona, within Navajo Nation, Colin Denny comes from a family that is dedicated to teaching. His parents are teachers within the Navajo community and teach the Navajo language. Colin comes from the Water Flowing Together People Clan and was born into the Coyote Pass People Clan. His maternal grandfather comes from the Red Running into Water Clan and his paternal grandfather comes from the Many Goat Clan. Colin seeks to promote sign languages, with a goal of teaching American Sign Language and mastering North American Indian Sign Language. He is working as a research assistant on the study of North American Indian Sign Language at the University of Arizona, and is pursuing a Masters of Art in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University, has a B.A. in Art and Media Design from Gallaudet and an A.A. in Fine Art from Diné College, and is a 2009 graduate of the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.
Hailing from the City of Brotherly Love with a passion for the arts, Justina Miles lives to dance and creatively express through music and sign language. She will do double duty in signing Lift Every Voice and Sing during the Pregame, and also match Rhianna’s singing with her ASL rendition during the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show. Justina has performed dazzling ASL renditions of music at various concerts throughout the country. Justina was part of the USA team that went to the 2021/22 Deaflympics in Brazil and returned with a silver medal as part of the 4X100 women’s track relay team. She is currently a nursing student and cheerleader at Bowie State University, a prestigious HBCU, and was the valedictorian at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington DC.