Most widely known for being the inspiration behind the 2009 film The Blind Side, Michael Oher has gone from the down-and-out teenager we see depicted in the film to an All-American left tackle for Ole Miss, as well as a player for not only the Baltimore Ravens, but the Tennessee Titans and currently the Carolina Panthers. However, this past Wednesday Oher was involved in a fight with Panther defensive end Kony Ealy, prompting him to reveal how he believes The Blind Side has actually been detrimental to his career. Asked if the fight had anything to do with proving himself after a series of struggling NFL seasons, Oher responded:
‘I’m not trying to prove anything,’ Oher told ESPN. ‘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.
‘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.’
Oher went on to say that players in his position are often overlooked, but because of the movie he is constantly being judged.
‘Nobody is paying attention to the offensive line. But me? I’m getting watched for everything. I know what type of player I am. Everybody else that I know knows what type of player I am. So that kind of stuff doesn’t worry me,’ Oher said.(via)
As for Oher’s career, it’s been a rocky ride the past few years. Cut from the Ravens in 2013 after their Super Bowl win in 2012, Oher went onto a 4-year $20 million contract with the Tennessee Titans only to be released due to a toe injury.
He was only 11 games into the season.
As of right now he’s currently with the Panthers on a 2-year $7 million deal. In regards to the fight with Kony, Panthers coach Ron Rivera stated:
‘Kony is a young guy who is learning and trying to learn how to cope,’ Rivera said of the fight. ‘Michael is a veteran guy. It’s kind of the young bear poking the older bear.
‘I was disappointed. The heat, the fatigue or what have you, there’s no place for [fighting]. I talked to both guys privately and just made sure they understood how I felt about it.’‘(via)
Only time will tell if Oher’ll be able to revitalize his career.
[H/T Daily Mail]