Photo from Jeff Weese on Flickr.
Michael Oher, when he played for the Baltimore Ravens. Photo from Jeff Weese on Flickr.

Former Baltimore Raven Michael Oher made headlines Monday after he filed a petition to end his conservatorship, which he alleges he was tricked into signing at the age of 18.

Oher spent the first five years of his NFL career in Baltimore after being drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. “The Blind Side,” a movie about Oher’s early life, came out in November 2009. Oher has never been a fan of the movie, according to an article by the Associated Press in 2015, when he was on the Carolina Panthers.

The Super Bowl XLVII winner said he thought he was signing adoption papers at age 18, but it was really a conservatorship. Under the conservatorship, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy controlled Oher’s financial affairs. Oher thought the papers would make him a part of the Tuohy family, but he says he had no familial relationship with them, according to the petition.  

Baltimore social media users had a mix of reactions, ranging from being appalled on behalf of Oher, to unsurprised that a white family would take advantage of their position and behave in a deceptive way towards him.

On X (formerly Twitter), user @LeslieStreeter pointed to the white savior trope invoked by the movie portrayal as making these revelations particularly upsetting.

On Reddit, user slyboon noted Oher himself wasn’t a fan of the movie.

Reddit user DonkeyDoug28 said they worked an event with Leigh Anne Tuohy and was unimpressed.

Matte198 and rellicotton expressed general disgust.

Among those who said they were unsurprised were X users @everywhereist and @IndiaAlmighty, and reddit users Picacco and Fragrant_Country_569. They pointed to the historical context of white people profiting off the labor of Black people, as well as white saviorism as a vessel for social and financial gain.

Fragrant_Country_569 said his ire was drawn when he found out Oher himself was unhappy with the way he was portrayed in the movie, and being from Baltimore himself didn’t impact his bias in favor of Oher.

Others from around the city felt a direct connection between their Ravens love and this revelation, with their feelings rising to the level of betrayal.

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