"I'm not trying to prove anything. People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie. They don't really see the skills and the kind of player I am. That's why I get downgraded so much, because of something off the field."
Michael Oher, the Left Tackle of the Carolina Panthers, feels that the 2009 film The Blind Side, which was based on his life, did more harm than good.
The Blind Side, featuring Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, and Quinton Aaron, tells the story of how the homeless teenager Oher was taken in by a well-to-do white mother in Tennessee. He then became a phenomenal football player at Ole Miss, and then later joining the NFL's Ravens, thanks to her support and love.
In case you need a little refresher, check out the trailer below:
In 2012, Oher aided Baltimore in winning the Super Bowl, and even though this was three years later, he felt that people paid more attention to his association with the film rather than his focus and dedication to the sport.
After struggling in 2012, Oher wasn't resigned. He then moved onto the Tennessee Titans in 2014, but had to be released after a toe injury had him out of the game more than actually on the field.
Oher is currently signed to the Panthers, where he is reunited with former Baltimore coach John Matsko. Oher claims:
"This stuff, calling me a bust, people saying if I can play or not ... that has nothing to do with football. It's something else off the field. That's why I don't like that movie. That's taken away from my football. That's why people criticize me. That's why people look at me every single play.''
I don't blame Oher for feeling like he has a lot more to prove after having a spotlight on him from the film. People tend to have unrealistic expectations of celebrities, even someone who had a taste of fame back in 2009.
I hope Oher continues to practice with his team and is able to shake the attention from The Blind Side. With a supportive and loving family like the one he has, I'm sure anything is possible.