Before the lawsuit, there was an interview with Robin Robins—see what Michael Oher said about ‘The Blind Side’ in 2015

By Ben Liebing

Before Michael Oher sued Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy for payments that he alleges were withheld from him, there was Robin Robins, CEO of TMT and MSP Success, who had a sit-down talk with him in 2015 at one of her Producer’s Club events.

Oher is a former NFL tackle whose life story inspired author Michael Lewis’s 2006 book “The Blind Side” and the incredibly popular Sandra Bullock movie of the same name in 2009. He is now suing the Tuohys for lost payments he alleges were withheld from him over the years. Bullock went on to win a Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Leigh Ann Tuohy.

But back in 2015, when Oher appeared on stage with Robins, he was a force of inspiration, motivating the crowd of leaders by discussing how he had overcome seemingly impossible odds and unimaginable poverty growing up in Memphis, Tenn., to reach the pinnacle of his career—playing in the NFL.

“It’s by the grace of God that all of this happened to me,” Oher told Robins. “I ask him all the time, ‘Why did you choose me?’”

Oher has said mental toughness and an unwavering belief that he could succeed were always part of the equation—but so was the ability to manage and overcome other people’s misperceptions.

“In the NFL, there are so many naysayers…people who don’t know a lick about what you do,” Oher told Robins. “I’ve always had to prove people wrong throughout my entire life.”

And mostly, he said, without anyone to look up to.

“I didn’t have any role models,” Oher told Robins.

When asked about the movie’s portrayal of him and the real-life events behind it, Oher hesitated: “The Blind Side is a great movie, but…I have a slightly better personality,” Oher chuckled. “And Leigh Anne (Tuohy) didn’t teach me how to play football by the way. I always knew how to play football.”

And now those on-stage chuckles with Robins have turned into cries of disbelief over a legal term called conservatorship.

Oher, the former Baltimore Ravens tackle says in his filing that he gave the rights to his life story away to 20th Century Fox in 2007 “without any payment whatsoever”, the Los Angeles Times reports, “And that he was missing profits from John Lee Hancock’s 2009 film, which grossed $309 million at the worldwide box office.”

Michael Lewis, the renowned author of the 2006 book, as well as other well-known works such as “Moneyball” and “The Big Short” – all of which have been adapted into major Hollywood films – has a slightly different opinion on the matter. In an interview with The Washington Post, Lewis said that despite the movie’s success, no one involved in the book saw millions of dollars from the movie.

“Everybody should be mad at the Hollywood studio system,” Lewis said. “Michael Oher should join the writers strike. It’s outrageous how Hollywood accounting works, but the money is not in the Tuohys’ pockets.”

You can watch Robins’ interview with Oher HERE.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Written and published by Robin Robins, founder of Technology Marketing Toolkit, this magazine is uniquely focused on the topics of marketing, client-acquisition, sales, profitability, leadership and personal development.

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