COMMENTARY: Tiki Barber Dumped Pregnant Wife and Now Asks: Why Don’t People Like Me?

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  • Tiki Barber, the former NFL running back who dumped his pregnant wife for a 23-year-old intern, wants us to believe that he’s doing some serious soul searching by asking this bizarre question of his twin brother, Ronde:

    “Why do so many people like you, but don’t like me?” Tiki asked during his new CBS Sports radio show last week. “Why do so many people like Ronde and dislike me?”

    I don’t know why Tiki Barber is asking why he’s so unpopular. Maybe he needs some kind of public redemption, but the answer, in my view is clear: People –and women in particular — don’t like Barber because he left his wife, Ginny, who was pregnant with twin girls, and started an affair with former NBC intern Traci Lynn Johnson, who he married in 2012.

    If Barber has to ask this question publicly, then he’s clueless and more confused that I thought. Whatever his reasoning, I believe Tiki Barber truly knows the answer to his own question. He’s just playing his audience and hoping for sympathy.

    But here’s something ironic — and revealing: Barber, 37, has shown years of disdain for his father who he says abandoned his family and implied that his father cheated on his mother.

    “I don’t give a [bleep] that the relationship didn’t work,” Barber said of his parents’ separation in a 2004 New York 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.”

    I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Barber could be accused of abandoning his family just like his father did. So here’s my question: Why didn’t Ronde address this deep-rooted issue when answering Tiki’s question about why people don’t like Tiki?

    Instead, Ronde, who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, blamed New York fans for Tiki’s negative image.

    “That’s a great question. (It’s) probably because you live in New York and I don’t know if New Yorkers like anything more than loving their stars than hating them,” Ronde said on the radio show. “They look for faults and exploit them, or failures and exploit them and it’s a national story when it’s up there.”

    Nice try by Ronde to defend his twin brother, but blaming Tiki’s negative image on New York’s sports fans is quite a stretch. Tiki’s problems are about his philandering. It’s not that complicated. Sure, fans will exploit flaws in sports stars, as Ronde explained, but the flaws have to be there to exploit.

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