Former New York Giants superstar and NBC's "Today" correspondent Tiki Barber is splitting with his pregnant wife, Ginny, after a reported months-long affair with NBC intern Traci Lynn Johnson, 23. (Watch a report about Tiki Barber's split.) Given that Barber has vocally slammed his own unfaithful dad for abandoning the family, Barber's alleged philandering is being judged harshly: Cheating on a pregnant wife has got to be Barber's "worst career move since retiring one year before the New York Giants won the Super Bowl," says The Hollywood Gossip. Although Amir Shaw at Rolling Out points out that Barber's father may have modelled poor behavior, Barry Petchesky at Deadspin is not sympathetic: "Tiki's children are 6 and 7, old enough to understand that daddy left mommy for someone as close to their age as his own." Besides, Barber's criticisms of his dad make him "look like a hypocrite." Here's a sampling of quotes Barber may be regretting:
• "I don't give a [bleep] that [my parents'] relationship didn't work....Not only did [my father] abandon her, I felt like he abandoned us for a lot of our lives. I have a hard time forgiving that." (2004, New York Post)
• "What did I feel for my father? Not love or hate. Those emotions are too strong. It was something worse. Indifference. But in another sense, I realize that I still have hang-ups about not growing up with a dad. Maybe my life has been like that of other abandoned sons: a long search for a father figure." (2007, Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond)
• "[My greatest child-raising influence is] my mother. She was a single mother with no support from my father and sacrificed a lot of her life for my brother and me. She always found a way to provide and never left us wanting for anything." (2010, NY Metro Parents)
• "As men, we want to have pride, we want to stand up and beat our chest and say, 'We did this. We took care of our family.' When you don't have that, you want to hide a little bit, you want to run away....[The divorce rate is so high among high-income blacks because of] the core relationship. I mean, are you getting into a relationship because you really love and care and want to be with this woman, or just because you saw her at a club, and she looked hot — 'Oh man, I got to get on that!'?" (2009, "A Father's Promise," MSNBC)
"I want to be an honorable man, because that's what I want them both to be...My family is everything to me." (2007, Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond, via NY Post)
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The case for voting (even if America is a corrupt plutocracy rigged by the rich)
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Paul Krugman, Amazon, and the left's backwards view of book-industry titans
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
Subscribe to the Week