Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Despite Everything, Tiki Barber Is Good at Heart

Once and future running back unleashes Holocaust analogy

Print Email
Tiki Barber in 2009.(Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

In an excellent Sports Illustrated profile (via Deadspin) of retired New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, who is looking to return to the NFL, we learn what happened after Barber, then a Today Show correspondent, left his pregnant wife, spent two nights sleeping at Rockefeller Center, and then shacked up with his now-girlfriend Traci Johnson, the 23-year-old NBC intern he had apparently been seeing. Soon, the tabloids pounced.

Barber and Johnson went into hiding in the attic of [agent Mark] Lepselter’s house in New Jersey. “Lep’s Jewish,” says Barber, “and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing.” (Here is Barber writ small: He has the wit and smarts to make an Anne Frank allusion and the artlessness to liken himself—an adulterer trying to elude gossip columnists—to a Holocaust victim.)

I, for one, am shocked. I mean, a Jewish sports agent???

Tiki Barber Gets Real [SI]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Tamara says:

Well, he has a point — the gossip columnists were creating a blood libel against him.

Matt says:

No. I don’t think the gossip columnists were accusing Barber of killing Christian and/or Muslim children to use their blood in making matzah. That is a blood libel. This was not.

ellis jayus says:

So he was hiding because of religious persecution? I think he was hiding because he’s a spineless adulterous lecher. May his wife take him and his wallet to the proverbial cleaners! What chutzpah!

Tamara says:

Matt, Jews are known for their sense of humor. You should go find yours — it’s your birthright.

Matt says:

Unfortunately, Tamara, you weren’t being funny, just ignorant.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Despite Everything, Tiki Barber Is Good at Heart

Once and future running back unleashes Holocaust analogy

More on Tablet:

Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS

By Lee Smith — Because they want the same things that teenage boys want: a strong sense of meaning and purpose