Black football player remembers his story

When is the movie Blind area was released in 2009 and became a real hit. Feel Good grossed $300 million worldwide, ten times its budget, and won Sandra Bullock numerous awards, including an Oscar, for her starring role. The social impact that the film had in many areas is widespread, but the deeper human impact is only now being thoroughly explored, 14 years after the film’s release.

In August, Michael Oher, the film’s subject, filed a lawsuit against Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, who were portrayed in the film and the book on which it is based as his “adopted” parents since he was a teenager. In his lawsuit, Oher claimed that he was never adopted (which is the cornerstone of the film’s narrative), but was instead placed in foster care with financial obligations; that he was deceived into giving up income in his name and image for the past 19 years, and that he received no money from Blind areaglobal success.

Like ESPN reportedThe 14-page petition Oher filed in Tennessee states that “the couple tricked him into signing a document making them his guardians, giving them the legal authority to enter into business transactions on his behalf.” Oher claims that the Tuohys then made a deal to pay themselves and their children royalties for the film, and that they cut Oher out of that deal entirely. Tuohy stated on different timethat they either made no money or very little money from the film. Whatever they got, Oher claims he got nothing for his story.

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Oher went on to become a decorated offensive lineman at the University of Mississippi and then the Baltimore Ravens, for whom he played in the 2013 Super Bowl championship. Now he wants conservatism to be defeated. But he is also asking the court to account for all the money the Tuohys made on his behalf and to bar them from using it in the future.

In his response to the statement that Entertainment tonight The Tuohys reportedly “categorically deny” any cheating and see conservatism as key to Oher’s future at the University of Mississippi. Tuohy’s response claims that they “never intended” to adopt Oher and that Oher was always aware of the true legal nature of their relationship. The Tuohys also accused Oher of trying to get $15 million.extortion(read: blackmail) them before filing an application in court.

Blind area The film focuses on the Tuohy family and their relationship with Oher, with particular attention paid to Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, a wealthy white couple from Memphis, Tennessee, who accepted and supported Oher at a critical point in his burgeoning football career.

Here’s how Blind area presents the situation: Oher, an academically underachieving but physically gifted black student with a difficult home life, caught the attention of Tuohy. Oher has been portrayed as a “gentle giant” and the idea of ​​his intelligence is dubious at best and foolish at worst.

The film wants the viewer to believe that Lee Ann was captivated by his gentle nature and that she saw potential in Oher that no one else saw. In the context of the film, Oher’s career is a direct reflection of the support (especially financial) and stability the Tuohys provided him while he was in high school. In other words, without them, Oher would never have achieved such success.

The reality, as always, is more complicated. But it’s worth noting that even in 2009 there were reasons to worry about the narrative Blind area. This is a classic example of the “white savior complex” (orwhite saviorism“), something the black community is all too aware of. A literal example would be when white Christian missionaries go to Kenya to spread the religion and “save” poor black children, but Blind area no less striking example. Even if Oher’s film never saw the light of day, Tuohy’s motives and the overall message of the film were always worthy of careful examination. Pedantically, the film is about a wealthy white family who encourages a “stupid” black boy to sell his body for a career.

Oher claims he was actively deceived into believing he was a legitimate member of the Tuohy family, but instead was effectively used as a cash cow. He’s been at odds with public portrayals of his intelligence since at least 2015, when he told ESPN, “People look at me and take things away from me because of the movie… They don’t really see the skill and what kind of player I am.” “

It is true that Oher had a difficult family life and probably did need various kinds of support. But he was always an accomplished athlete, including in football, before Tuohys came on the scene. Now he author two memoirs, and his NFL career is not noteworthy. The film makes it seem like Oher knew nothing about the game and that the family had to teach Oher football and basic science.

The film also claims that Oher wouldn’t have made it to Ole Miss without Tuohy, but he had other scholarships available. It just so happened that the Tuohys were alumni (and donors) of the school.

The Tuohys weren’t the only ones to benefit from Oher’s life story. If it is true that, as the Tuohys argued in their response, the NCAA said Oher had to be part of the Tuohys to play there, then the NCAA is just as guilty as the couple for pushing Oher into unnecessary custody. Michael Lewis, the author of the 2006 book on which the film is based, is expected to take responsibility for the film’s plotting; so do Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, co-founders of the film’s production company, who instead protect narration.

Whether the Tuohys made money from the film is really a secondary concern for everyone except Oher himself; The main scandal is that they stole his story. They acquired nearly two decades of undeniable wealth and fame. They enhanced the reputation of the University of Mississippi, touring to lecture and writing books about the dedication of the university. charity.

For his part, Oher had a respected football career, but he still lacked what he was promised – a full-fledged family. Now, upon closer examination, it turns out that he was their son only in “colloquial meaning”, and not in the legal sense that the world has believed in for years. Oher’s pain and sense of betrayal are unlikely to be erased by payment.

Now Oher’s lawsuit sheds light on how his story may be inspiring for many reasons other than the Tuohy family. This refutes the idea that marginalized people should be grateful for the crumbs and attention they receive from the privileged.

The public might never have heard this story—Oher’s real story—if he had not stood up for himself. The Tuohys may have stolen his achievements, but Oher is taking them back. May we all show that tenacity in the face of racist assumptions and deep-rooted white supremacy.

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