Thursday, April 18, 2024

Michael Oher Has Turned a “Blind Eye” Toward Being Charitable with His Own Questionable Foundation (Exclusive)


Ex-NFL player Michael Oher has made at least $22 million playing football. There are some estimates that he’s worth $34 million.

That’s swell, except Oher — now suing the Tuohy family, the ones who raised him and were featured in the movie “The Blind Side” — has not reciprocated with charity himself.

Oher runs The Oher Foundation, which is supposed to “provide individuals both in need and disadvantaged with empowering opportunities” according to its mission statement. He’s the president, and his wife, Tiffany, is the vice president.

The Ohers’ original foundation, called Beating the Odds, was formed in 2011 in Mississippi. But three years later it had never filed a tax return and its 501 c3 status was revoked by the IRS. It seems like this second iteration was formed in 2016 in Tennessee. The IRS didn’t catch that it was the same group starting up again in a different location.

So far, the Ohers haven’t done much to fulfill their mission. Three years of Form 990 tax statements from the Oher Foundation show little in the way of interest from the athlete in helping anyone. This is odd considering in his new book, “When Your Back’s Against the Wall,” Oher talks about his struggles as a young man including poverty, starvation, and homelessness. But from the Form 990s not filed and then filed under a different name, it would seem Oher is just about lip service and no action.

For example, in 2021, Oher showed $10,520 in revenue for the foundation. Grants to people who might have needed his help: zero (0). Nothing. Nada. And that’s down from $500 the previous year.

The foundation claimed net assets for 2021 of just $11,272.

I don’t know what the reality is of Oher’s issues with the Tuohy family, or the money that was made from “The Blind Side.” That will have to be dealt with in court. But when it comes to “paying it forward,” Oher hasn’t done much. The foundation has been in business since 2017. In those five years, he’s distributed less money than the average NFL player spends on dinner.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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