Former NFL Player Matthew A. Cherry Wins Best Animated Short Oscar for 'Hair Love' Former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry became the second athlete to ever win a Oscar joining the late Kobe Bryant, who won in 2018. Cherry wrote and directed \u201cHair Love,\u201d a six-minute sentimental story about an African American father attempting to do his daughter\u2019s hair for the first time took home the Oscar for best animated short film. Cherry was joined on stage with co-producer Karen Rupert Toliver, Cherry \u2014 who also directed and co-wrote the film. He dedicated his statuette to the late Kobe Bryant, saying \u2018may all our second acts be as great as his,\u2019 and to his special guest in attendance, DeAndre Arnold, saying, \u2018I want to say \u201cHair Love\u201d was done to normalize black hair.\u201d Arnold is the Texas high school student suspended for wearing dreadlocks and told he couldn\u2019t attend his graduation ceremony in the spring unless he cut them in accordance with school dress code. Kobe Bryant won a Oscar in the same category for 'Dear Basketball' in 2018 Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens during his time in the league. Read: CYNTHIA ERIVO LANDS OSCAR NOMINATIONS FOR BEST ORIGINAL SONG AND BEST ACTRESS The short film was started via kickstarter, which at the time broke the record for the highest amount raised for any short film on the platform. In 2019, \u201cHair Love\u201d was adapted into a best-selling children\u2019s book written by Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison. Cherry posted what would have been his full acceptance speech on twitter. What would have been my full speech. #Oscars pic.twitter.com\/qeL43gqK0k— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) February 10, 2020 To view the full list of the 2020 Oscar winners click here.