Tiki Barber's Anne Frank Comments Draw Fire
Tiki Barber Compares Himself to Anne Frank
Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber is the subject of the latest sports-media outrage over a comment he made during an interview with Sports Illustrated. In describing the fallout from the news that he left his pregnant wife for another woman, Tiki Barber describes hiding out in his agent Mark Lepselter's attic: '"Lep's Jewish, and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing."
Tiki Barber's Anne Frank comment drew immediate fire. The comment was described by the national director of the ADL as "outrageous and perverse".
While the analogy is insensitive, it sounds more like Barber was describing a Gentile being hidden by a Jew as turnabout on one of the most famous stories to come out of World War II: a quick quip, with no deeper meaning intended.
Meanwhile, Twitter is working itself into an anti-Tiki frenzy.
Tempest, meet teapot.
Tiki Barber was clearly not seriously comparing himself to Anne Frank, who hid for years from the Nazis only to die in a concentration camp shortly before the liberation. Does anyone really believe that he was?
It's not that I don't see why people are pissed off, but there are far worse things out there to invoke their anger. Antisemitism is very real-- let's not muddy the issue with unneccessary hand-wringing. It was a dumb comment, and the opposite of classy (did he expect sympathy by comparing his pregnant wife to the Nazis?), but that's about it.
Tiki Barber retired from the NFL in 2006. His broadcasting career isn't really happening, so he's planning a return to professional football.