Former Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher greeted fans in Baltimore on Monday at a signing for his new book, “When Your Back’s Against the Wall: Fame, Football and Lessons Learned through a Lifetime of Adversity.”
Oher addressed dozens of people at The Ivy Bookshop in Mt. Washington. He signed copies of the memoir and took photos with fans on the store’s patio but declined to discuss the issue that has thrust him into the national spotlight in recent weeks: His legal battle against Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, the couple that took him in as a teenager. That story was chronicled in the hit movie “The Blind Side.”
Oher instead focused on his latest book.
“This book right here means a lot to me,” Oher said in his remarks. “It’s basically a playbook on life and how I continue to fight back when your back’s against the wall. That’s how I felt all my life. I don’t care what you’re going through, whatever it is — if you’re paralyzed with fear, you feel like you can’t get over the slightest thing — just understand that you have it all inside of you. My most important lesson in the playbook right here is looking yourself in the mirror. If you’re going through anything — I don’t care what it is — you have every answer that you need to get over what’s going on. I just want to thank you all for coming, I really appreciate it.”
Oher ended his comments with, “And, go Ravens!”
Beyond that, Oher didn’t have much to say.
Last Monday, Oher filed a petition in a Tennessee probate court accusing the Tuohy’s of lying to him by having him sign papers making them his conservators rather than his adoptive parents nearly two decades ago.
Oher, 37, is now seeking to end the conservatorship and an injunction that would prevent the Tuohy’s from using and profiting off his name and likeness. He’s also seeking compensation after, he says, not receiving any compensation from “The Blind Side.”
The Tuohy’s intend to enter into a consent order to end the conservatorship, lawyer Randall Fishman told reporters last week.
Baltimore is where Oher began his NFL career and spent his first five seasons after the Ravens drafted him with the No. 23 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Oher spoke quietly to some fans in attendance, mentioning he couldn’t say much because of the ongoing lawsuit. When asked about their feelings about the lawsuit, multiple fans told The Baltimore Banner that the ongoing matter is strictly between Oher and the family.
“I know families have their disagreements and I kind of leave that to the family,” Jonathan Schwart, 54, of Reisterstown said. “It doesn’t change my opinion on him or anyone else. I hope they’re all able to work things out like any other family that has their squabbles.”