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Ex-NFL WR Matthew A. Cherry Wins Oscar

Matthew A. Cherry

Former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry won an Academy Award Sunday night for Best Animated Short. He and his producing partner, Karen Rupert Toliver picked up the award for their short, “Hair Love.”

The seven minute short revolves around a father attempting to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Issa Rae, from HBO’s “Insecure,” had a role in the film.

Cherry had a tumultuous ride in the NFL. After being signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2004, he was cut from the roster and sent to the practice squad. Ahead of their final game the same year, the Cincinnati Bengals added Cherry to their active roster.

After being cut by the Bengals, he attempted to play in the Canadian Football League, before leaving without playing a single game for the Ottawa Renegades. He was signed by the Panthers in 2006, being sent to NFL Europe, then getting cut yet again.

Finally, he signed with the Baltimore Ravens before the 2006 season officially began, but suffered an injury. He missed the entire year and would not return to the NFL. Cherry retired from the league in 2007 to pursue a film career.

Cherry even predicted his Oscar nomination in 2012.

Not only was he nominated, but he won his very first time as a nominee.

In his speech, he dedicated the win to Kobe Bryant, saying, “…may we all have a second act as great as his was.” Likely referring to his own, current second act, most would say he is off to a good start.

Featured Image courtesy of Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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