How The Blind Side Hurt Michael Oher's Football Career

When John Lee Hancock's The Blind Side was released back in 2009, it wound up being a monster success, not only at the box office, but even at the Academy Awards. Six years on, however, the subject of the film - football player Michael Oher - isn't too happy with what the movie has done to his career, saying that it has actually hurt his experience in the National Football League because of the way that people perceive him.

ESPN recently interviewed Oher, who is currently playing for the Carolina Panthers, and it was when asked about a recent scuffle that he got into that football player began to express his feelings about how The Blind Side has changed the way that people look at him and what he's able to do on the gridiron. Stressing that he's not trying to "prove anything" to anybody, Oher said,

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.

Going on to say that he doesn't "like" The Blind Side, he added that he now feels as though there is now more critical pressure on his performance, but he doesn't feel that it's justified just because he was the subject of a Hollywood film.

In 2012, Michael Oher was part of the Baltimore Ravens team that wound up winning the Super Bowl, but in the years since he has been having a rough time. During the 2013 season he struggled on the field, leading to the team not resigning him. After that, he signed a five-year deal with the Tennessee Titans, but he was released last year because of a toe injury that kept him off the field.

Looking at the success of The Blind Side, it's not exactly hard to tell why there is so much attention on Michael Oher's career. The movie wasn't a critical smash-hit, but it did win Sandra Bullock an Oscar, and wound up grossing $309 million by the time it was done in worldwide release. This obviously made Oher a big name, but this also isn't the first time that he's tried to steer attention away from the film, and more towards his playing ability. According to ESPN, on the media day ahead of the 2012 Super Bowl Oher was quoted saying,

I'm tired of the movie. I'm here to play football.

Michael Oher is hardly the first person to take issue with a major biopic made about their life, but do you think that he is justified in his feelings about what the movie has done to his career? Or do you think this is all just part of what happens when you agree to have your story be the subject of a feature film? Hit the comments with your thoughts.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.