Michael Oher became a household name -- even among non-football fans -- with the hit film "The Blind Side" back in 2009. But the former first-round pick is now claiming that the relationship he had with the family that took him in as a teenager was based on a lie.
Last week, Oher filed a petition with a probate court in Tennessee to end the conservatorship, in which he says the Tuohy family deceived him into signing. He claims they told him it was to legalize his adoption. Oher recently spoke to CBS Sports Radio to promote his new book, and explain why the popular film was misleading about his own work ethic and journey.
"I think it took away the hard work and dedication I created from a child... Like going to school in third grade all by myself," Oher explained to "The Jim Rome Show" guest host Damon Amendolara. "I was the first one in the locker room and the last one out. I think the biggest [problem] for me is, being portrayed as not being able to read or write. In second grade, I was doing plays in front of the school."
Oher was dealing with an unstable home life -- living on friends' couches, in foster care, or on the streets from ages 3-11. He claims his portrayal in the hit film leaked into his relationship with NFL teammates, as he played offensive tackle for the Ravens, Titans, and Panthers from 2009-2016.
"When you go into a locker room, and teammates don't think you can learn a playbook, you know, that weighs on someone," Oher said. "I understand that the movie has given me a position [in the public eye] -- I'm honored to be at the position I've been given.
"But you have to understand that, before I moved in with the [Tuohys], I was an All-American. That's what I want the generations behind me to see in this book right here. [They should] understand that you don't have someone as a savior and rescue you."
Oher believes "The Blind Side" portrays him as a low-intellect, shy teen who needed the Tuohys to push him. Instead, he says he was carving out a plan to break the cycle of poverty and drugs around him. "You know, looking yourself in the mirror when I was an 11-12 year old kid," Oher said. "Telling myself, 'Hey, everyone around you is in an even worse situation. So, you're gonna have to get up and do this thing yourself and develop a routine right then.
"I could've given up at 11 or 12. So, that's what I'm trying to paint the message in this book right here and looking through everything that I went through and finding the positive."
Oher also said he still feels gratitude toward the Tuohys for giving him a home back in high school. "I'm really very grateful, very grateful, for every family that helped me throughout this journey," he said. "So, a lot of people deserve a lot of credit. For me, I want to show young people and everyone behind me that hey, you deserve some credit for your hard work. You can get it done."
The entire conversation between Oher and Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio can be accessed here.