From wide receiver to Oscar: Matthew Cherry had tweeted about winning the award 8 years ago
Los Angeles, Feb 10: You probably don't remember Matthew Cherry's NFL career, unless you were really into Akron football or the deepest part of the league's depth charts 15 years ago.
The former Akron wide receiver Matthew A Cherry director of animated short 'Hair Love', became the second sportsperson to win an Academy Award after the late the basketball player Kobe Bryant. The film talks about a simple story of an African American father who tries to fix his little girl's hair.
The 41-year-old NFL legend died in a helicopter crash on January 26 in suburban Los Angeles that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. Bryant had won an Academy Award in 2018 for the animated short film 'Dear Basketball'. Cherry's "Hair Love" follows the story of a man who must do his daughter's hair for the first time.
What was more interesting here is, in 2016, Matthew Cherry seems to have manifested his Academy Award win way back in 2012. Taking to Twitter, Cherry wrote, "I am gonna be nominated for an Oscar sooner or later. Already claiming it."
I'm gonna be nominated for an Oscar one day. Already claiming it— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) June 2, 2012
And in 2016, he also tweeted "Any 3-D artists practice me? I were given an Oscar-worthy brief movie concept to head with this symbol. Get at me."
And on Sunday, Matthew A Cherry finally took home the Academy Award for best animated short.
Matthew A Cherry, who was nominated at the 92nd Academy Awards, said the film was made as the team wanted to see "more representation" in animation.
"We wanted to normalise black hair. There's a very important issue," he said in his acceptance speech. He used the stage to highlight the CROWN Act which prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture by extending protection for both categories under the FEHA and the California Education Code.
Cherry also gave a shout-out to DeAndre Arnold, the black teen from Texas who was suspended from school for wearing dreadlocks. Arnold, who was in the audience, also walked the red carpet with the makers. He dedicated the win to Bryant, adding "Hope we all have a second act as great as his". Film's producer Karen Rupert Toliver said it was important for cartoon films to have representation as that's when "we first see our movies". "It shapes our lives and how we shape the world," Toliver added.