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Ronde Barber: New Yorkers love to hate Tiki

T. BarberRonde

Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber says he’s confident that his identical twin brother Tiki Barber is going to return to football, have success, and redeem his public image.

But Ronde also says it hurts him that Tiki’s image needs redeeming. And he says it’s particularly tough to see the way New Yorkers have turned on Tiki, who was the only player booed when the Giants honored the best players in franchise history at their new stadium last year.

“That’s the reason I haven’t been to New York as much as I used to,” Ronde told “It is a city that loves to love their stars, but it loves to hate them even more. It is what it is. It is hard to hear about anybody that you love and care about.”

Ronde also criticized the media reaction to Tiki comparing himself to Anne Frank in a Sports Illustrated story.

“The SI article,” Ronde said. “The whole Anne Frank deal and all that BS. It is what it is. It was completely taken out of context but it’s another hit. It was a one-day story but still.”

Ronde says Tiki is in good physical shape and ready to play.

“He looks the part now. He’s working at it, but he’s really got no other direction right now,” Ronde said. “He’s taken a lot of hits -– a lot of negative hits the past three years. The one way you can re-endear yourself to people is to do what you do best. . . . Tiki wants to do something positive with his life so people can stop talking about all the negative stuff.”