The Daily Moth 5-20-2019

CODA man appears on season 15 of “The Bachelorette”; 13-year-old Deaf Fortnite phenom possibly first Deaf Twitch Partner; Morehouse College graduation speaker pays off college debt of entire class of 2019; Arnold Schwarzenegger drop kicked in back by random stranger; Federal judge says Congress can subpoena Trump’s financial records

Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Friday, May 17. Ready for news?


CODA man appears on season 15 of “The Bachelorette”

Last week Monday, the 15th season for “The Bachelorette” TV show started featuring Hannah Brown as the bachelorette. Hannah had 30 men lined up, all of them hoping to be the last man standing with the final rose. One of the men that showed up was a surprise for the Deaf community. Matt Donald, a CODA from Los Gatos, California, was hoping to find love with Hannah. Matt (26) has a Deaf family and his oldest brother, Dr. Andrew Donald was interviewed by DPAN recently about his occupation. Dr. Donald is a Deaf dentist that works in Gaithersburg and College Park, Maryland. You can see the link to DPAN’s interview with Dr. Donald in this transcript.

Matt’s first impression for Hannah was arriving in a tractor and singing his version of the “Old MacDonald” song.

(Slow clip)

Matt mentioned on TV that his friends always called him “Old Matt Donald.” Unfortunately, his “song” came to an end. Matt did not get a rose from Hannah so he was sent home. However, Matt did share on his public Instagram account that he was grateful for the experience and still will root for Hannah to find love.

We did reach out to the family, but they mentioned that they cannot share much information because the show is still airing.

Matt is not the first CODA to appear on the show. The first CODA was Jerry Ferris, from Brockport, New York (near Rochester) that appeared on “The Bachelorette” season 3 in 2005. He lasted all the way until the end and got down on his knee to propose to the bachelorette, Jen Schefft. Jen did not accept the proposal, but asked if they could continue dating and see if it would end up into an engagement. It eventually did not work out. Later, Jerry ended up marrying a waitress named Natasha Goss in 2011 and they have a son.

“The Bachelor” season 23 featuring Colton Underwood as the bachelor did have one woman who used sign language. Cassie Randolph is a speech pathologist that uses basic sign language because of some of the clients she worked with. There was one scene that Cassie was teaching Colton to sign “rose,’ but actually signed “restaurant.”

We have seen CODAs and people who have used sign language on the show. Perhaps one day soon we will have a Deaf person on the show?

Bonus link: Nyle politely correcting Cassie’s signs on twitter:


13-year-old Deaf Fortnite phenom possibly first Deaf Twitch Partner

A 13-year old Deaf girl, Soleil Wheeler, is so good at popular online game Fortnite that she is possibly the first Deaf Twitch Partner. Her gaming name is Ewok.

[Clips of Ewok gaming]

Soleil is a student at the Indiana School for the Deaf. During season 8 of Fortnite, she was in the top 5 in U.S. rankings.

The Daily Moth did an interview with her that was arranged by her father, Joseph Wheeler.



I’m Soleil. *Signs name*

I’m a 13-year-old old student at Indiana School for the Deaf. I’ll be in the seventh grade this Fall.


You’ve been on the rise with your success in Fortnite. How did you become addicted to the game of Fortnite?


Yeah, I’m addicted. I’ve always liked and enjoyed games that includes strategy. It makes me think about how to win the game. That’s my motivation.


You’ve now risen to the status of Twitch partner. What’s that mean and why is that a big deal?


It’s a big deal to me because they’re “verified” meaning they’re successful and well-known streamers.

It’s big deal because I’m the first deaf gamer to be one of the partners on Twitch. Ever since Twitch was founded, this has never happened. I’m proud of this and I’m feeling really thrilled.


You’re a deaf gamer and I’m sure most of the other gamers you play against are hearing plus the game was designed to include a lot of sounds. As a deaf gamer, how do you adapt to this?


In the settings, they have a visual audio feature where they show where people are shooting. With this, I’ll know where it’s coming from or with treasure, a loot of things, guns and more, I’ll be able to know where they are.


What is the general reactions when you kill them in the game then they find out you’re a deaf girl?


It’s usually a negative reaction, but some of them have a positive reaction and I love them for that. With some people, when they find out I’m deaf, they’ll say I shouldn’t be playing, they think I’m making it up and say a bunch of negative things. My response to these people is I’m deaf, I’m proud of my identity and I’m happy.


And, and you killed them too so…

What’s your ultimate dream in the world of gaming?


My dream is to join a professional gaming team or organization. It’s also my mission that, when I've completed my journey, I’ll have shown people that deaf people not only can play, but can be elite gamers. I want to show them that deaf people can play these games.

[End Interview]

Thank you, Soleil for your time! You can follow her on Twitch at ewokttv or on Twitter at EwokIts. She has about 98,000 followers on Twitch and regularly plays with Atlanta Falcons backup QB Kurt Benkert.

[Video clip of Ewok playing with Kurt, tweet of Kurt mentioning playing with Ewok]

Soleil/Ewok is currently practicing for the World Cup tournament this summer. She has a bright future in the emerging field of eSports video game competitions.


Morehouse College graduation speaker pays off college debt of entire class of 2019

Last weekend Robert F. Smith, a billionaire and the nation’s wealthiest African American, surprised 400 graduating students at Morehouse College by telling them he would pay off all of their student debts. This amounts to about $40 million.

Morehouse College is an all-male, historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia. The students were stunned and cheered the news, chanting “MVP! MVP!”

Smith owns an investment firm that specializes in tech companies.

Smith said in his speech that he would never forget that his path was paved by his parents, grandparents, and generations of African Americans whose names he will never know, saying that their struggles and courage allowed him to achieve.

He told the men to pay this forward.


Arnold Schwarzenegger drop kicked in back by random stranger

Arnold Schwarzenegger was drop kicked in the back by a random guest while he was visiting an Arnold Classic Africa event in Johannesburg, South Africa.

There were a few videos of the kick that went viral. Schwarzenegger stumbled forward a few steps, but was not hurt. He is 71.

He tweeted a video of it. Here it is.


The man was quickly restrained by security. Deadspin reported that he screamed, “Help me, I need a Lamborghini,” several times.

Schwarzenegger said there was nothing to worry about, that he thought he was just jostled by the crowd and did not even realize he was kicked. He said he was glad the idiot did not interrupt his Snapchat.

He did not want the suspect’s name identified, instead encouraging people to focus on Arnold Sports athletes.

Yesterday he said he would not press charges against the man, saying he hopes this was a wake-up call for him and that he gets his life on the right track.


Federal judge says Congress can subpoena Trump’s financial records

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled that the U.S. Congress can subpoena President Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, to view several years of his financial records.

The Democratic-controlled House Oversight Committee issued the subpoena last month to view 8 years of Trump’s financial records to check for potential breaches of ethics.

Trump sued in federal court saying the subpoena was unconstitutional because it had nothing to do with legislation.

But the federal judge said the Constitution grants Congress the power to investigate the President for unlawful conduct past or present.

President Trump said this was ridiculous and that they would appeal.

In separate news, the White House has told former White House counsel Don McGahn to ignore a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee to appear for a testimony.

So, the battle continues between Congressional Democratic leaders and President Trump.


That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!