Former NFL receiver Matthew Cherry wins an Oscar

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The 92nd Oscars have begun, and a former NFL player has carried away one of the statues.

Matthew Cherry, who played receiver for several teams more than a decade ago, won the best animated short prize for Hair Love.

“I wanted to give kids a character that normalizes and celebrates black hair,” Cherry recently told NBC News regarding Hair Love. “Black fathers get a bad rap in mainstream media, so I also wanted to show them as present and caring, versus the deadbeat dad stereotype that is often ascribed to them in film.”

Cherry, who wrote and directed the film, produced Hair Love with Karen Rupert Toliver.

He played college football at Akron. Undrafted in 2004, Cherry spent time with the Bengals, Jaguars, Panthers, and Ravens.

Best animated short is the same category for which Kobe Bryant won an Oscar two years ago, for Dear Basketball.

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