During his NFL career (which he is currently re-starting), Tiki Barber took many a hard hit from huge defensive linemen and punishing linebackers, but I don't know if he ever had a foot shoved down his throat and into his stomach. Alas, he accomplished that on his own, albeit metaphorically:
Tiki Barber hasn't taken the football field yet in his comeback, but he's already taking hits for making an analogy to Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
The former New York Giants running back has been criticized in local media for making the analogy during an interview in this week's Sports Illustrated. At one point in the article, Barber describes going into hiding with his girlfriend after his well-publicized breakup with his then-pregnant wife. Barber and his girlfriend ended up in the attic of the home of the player's agent, Mark Lepselter.
"Lep's Jewish," Barber told Sports Illustrated. "And it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing."
Lepselter came to his client's defense Thursday.
"In a world where nothing surprises me, where things get completely blown out of proportion, this only adds to the list," Lepselter told ESPNNewYork.com. "[Tiki] was shedding light on going back to that time when he was literally trapped, so to speak, in my attic for a week. Nothing more, nothing less.
"Let me remind all those who want to make this more than it is: Tiki was a guest of [president] Shimon Peres in Israel five years ago."
Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, described Barber's comment as "outrageous and perverse."
Yes, it was outrageous. Absolutely. Flippant and glib, I think, but definitely the wrong historical event to draw upon for analogies. But it doesn't say anything good that while there is an understandable outcry about Barber's comments, there isn't any mention of anger or disgust about this: "going into hiding with his girlfriend after his well-publicized breakup with his then-pregnant wife." Comparing oneself to Anne Frank when you aren't in any danger is outrageous. But comparing yourself to Anne Frank when you are hiding with your girlfriend from your pregnant (with twins) wife? That certainly is perverse.
By the way, give the Orwellian Spin of the Day Award to the agent for saying, "literally trapped, so to speak." Uh, was he literally trapped? "Uh, yeah, so to speak." So he wasn't really trapped? "Um, no, not literally, but in a...um... non-literal kinda way...yeah...no...I gotta run." Good idea.
I just found this New York Post piece from April 2010:
Ex-Giants superstar Tiki Barber has dumped his 8-months-pregnant wife, Ginny, for sexy former NBC intern Traci Lynn Johnson, sources told The Post last night.
The football star-turned-"Today" show-correspondent left his wife of 11 years, Ginny, for the 23-year-old blonde, who also worked at 30 Rock, the sources said.
Ginny, who is expecting twins, found out about the relationship late last year, after the run-around running back moved out of their Upper East Side home. ...
The affair is particularly stunning in light of Barber's long-standing disdain for his philandering father.
"I don't give a [bleep] that the relationship didn't work," he said of his parents' split in a 2004 Post interview. "Not only did he abandon her, I felt like he abandoned us for a lot of our lives. I have a hard time forgiving that."
Barber's confidants were shocked. ...
In his 2007 memoir, "Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond," Barber described the example he wanted to set for his kids.
"I want to be an honorable man, because that's what I want them both to be," he wrote, noting, "My family is everything to me."
I don't say this often: I'm a 100% with Foxman on this one. Ugh.