Michael Oher says The Blind Side didn’t portray the work ethic prior to joining the Tuohy family

Michael Oher became an inspiration to a generation when his journey from homelessness to the NFL was portrayed on The Blind Side.

But during a recent interview, Oher said the film, for which he is grateful for its global impact, did not tell the whole truth when it came to its eventual success, getting into the league and being named Super Bowl Champion the film went Baltimore Ravens.

“Ultimately, I had drive and skills. I wanted to be successful and become something, and that didn't show the work ethic I had to get to this point,” Oher told Salon Talks while promoting his new memoir, “When Your Back Is Against the Wall.” : Fame, football and lessons from a lifetime of adversity.”


Michael Oher on the field with the Tuohy family

Michael Oher of the Ole Miss Rebels stands with his family during senior ceremonies before a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium November 28, 2008 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images)

“You have to understand that came out in 2009. When I moved in with the family, I was already an All-American football player.”

The film doesn't show that Oher is already an outstanding football player, he said. Rather, the film gives the impression that joining the Tuohy family, from which Oher is now trying to quit his conservatory stint, has led to him becoming a star on the gridiron.

Oher's talents in the film are non-existent before his family suggests he join a private school's soccer team.


“I was 18 and moved in a few weeks before my senior year of high school,” Oher said. “I had completed the journey I had already made, which in itself was a success given where I'm from. So you have to give a little credit.”

“I want young people to understand that and not look at something and say, ‘I'm waiting for my savior. I'm waiting for this quick solution. I'm waiting for someone to come and give me this alms.' That was never my mentality,” he continued.

“As I started this journey I thought that when I was 11 years old I would become something. I wanted to be successful. It didn't have to be football. It didn't have to be sports. I would have a positive impact on society. If I had to have three or four jobs, I would work. I would be something that could give me long life, peace of mind and comfort. I think it was missing in those aspects, but I wouldn't be who I was [without that] little part of my story.

Michael Oher at Super Bowl 50

Carolina Panthers tackle Michael Oher at a pre-Super Bowl 50 press conference at the San Jose McNery Convention Center in San Jose, California on February 2, 2016. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Oher added that he slept on “floors in other people's houses” while he was still in school and struggling to succeed.

“You still have to work,” he said, “no matter where you are, what you're going through or what situation you're in.”

“I had ambitions. I am very thankful for the platform and I still inspire and motivate people all over the world. I am grateful for that.”

Michael Oher is demanding $15 million and threatening to “tell a negative story,” claims the TUOHY family's attorney

Oher filed a motion in the Tennessee probate court last week, accusing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of lying to him to sign papers that would make them his conservators and not his adoptive parents. He said he found this out in February and said the conservatory agreement he agreed to in 2008 was not the agreement he had in mind.

Oher is seeking cessation of conservatoire activity while being repaid a full account of the money made from his name and story, along with interest.

Michael Oher in 2015

Michael Oher of the Carolina Panthers speaks to the media April 20, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)


The Tuohy family called the claims outlandish and hurtful and believed Oher was trying to ward them off. Lawyers for the family noted the Tuohys would finalize a consent form to end guardianship and said Oher was well aware of this prior to his alleged discovery in February.

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