Tiki Barber Creates Stir With Anne Frank Comparison In Sports Illustrated
NEW YORK (WFAN) – Tiki Barber is at it again.
In the same issue of Sports Illustrated that added fuel to Mets owner Fred Wilpon’s firestorm, the comeback-kid running back compares himself to one of the most renowned victims of the Holocaust.
In the article by L. Jon Wertheim, Barber attempts to explain what it was like after he left his pregnant wife for 23-year-old Traci Johnson.
To escape the media, Barber and Johnson holed up in the attic of his agent, Mark Lepselter.
“Lep’s Jewish,” Barber told Wertheim, “and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing.”
“He wasn’t comparing himself to Anne Frank for God’s sake,” Lepselter told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Thursday morning. “It was just a casual conversation.”
LISTEN: Lepselter calls Boomer & Carton, defends Tiki
This isn’t Barber’s first tussle with bad press.
After his retirement in 2007, Barber’s second career with NBC failed. And he didn’t help himself with Giants fans, criticizing coach Tom Coughlin and former teammate Eli Manning, saying the quarterback’s attempt to lead an offensive meeting was “comical.”
“He can spin it however he wants,” a former NBC executive told Wertheim. “He just wasn’t good. Maybe he was good ‘for an athlete.’ But that wasn’t a comparison.”
“In New York you’re supposed to speak your mind—unless they don’t want to hear it, and then you’re not allowed to have an opinion,” Barber says in the SI profile. “My mother would slap me across the face if she thought I was following a path of being one of those plantation guys—yes, sir, no, sir, whatever you want me to say, sir.”
LISTEN: Wertheim talks Barber article with Boomer & Carton
Giants fans showed their distaste for Barber last October, loudly booing the former face of the franchise during Big Blue’s Ring of Honor ceremony.
Barber is trying to return to the NFL after four years in retirement.
What do you think of Tiki’s comments? Sound off in the comments below…