New York, NY, May 26, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called remarks by retired New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, comparing an incident in his personal life to the experience of Anne Frank hiding from the Nazis, "outrageous and perverse."
In a Sports Illustrated profile, Barber described how he went into hiding in the attic of his agent's home in New Jersey after leaving his then-pregnant wife for an NBC intern. "Lep's Jewish," said Barber, referring to his agent, Mark Lepselter, "and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement:
Holocaust trivialization continues to spread and finds new ways and expressions that shock the conscience. Tiki Barber's personal behavior is his business. But our history and experiences are ours and deserve greater respect than being abused or perverted by Tiki Barber.
The analogy to Anne Frank is not funny, it is outrageous and perverse. Anne Frank was not hiding voluntarily. Before she perished at age 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she hid from the Nazis for more than two years, fearing every day for her life. The Frank family's experiences, as recorded in Anne's dairy, are a unique testimonial to the horrors of the Holocaust, and her life should never be debased or degraded by insensitive and offensive analogies.