Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Eli Apple sends powerful message to Bills’ Damar Hamlin after controversy

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After sparking controversy with a tweet seen as a shot at the safety of Buffalo Bills, Damar Hamlin, Eli Apple is walking back.

The Cincinnati Bengals cornerback spent much of Monday taking shots at the Bills for their loss in Sunday’s division round playoff game. Apple focused much of its attention on Bill’s wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who became increasingly angered on the touchline during Buffalo’s 27-10 loss to the Bengals.

In a tweet, Apple revived a taunt popularized by NBA player Patrick Beverly and included an emoji of two hands forming a heart. Many saw this as a shot at Hamlin, who took on the symbol to show love to those who supported him following his collapse in a week 17 game.

in one tweet A few hours later, Apple sent a message to Hamlin, clarifying that he meant no harm.

As he came under fire from Bills fans, Apple shared a message that he wished Hamlin well in his recovery and had no plans to shoot him.

All love thoughts prayers and concerns @HamlinIsland as he continues to recover from this tragic incident,” Apple wrote. “Never would I take this frighteningly unfortunate scene lightly. This game is really a dangerous risk for our body, mind and spirit. Nothing but love to all my football brothers”

Apple’s original tweet had upset many Bills fans and at least one gamer. Defensive end Shaq Lawson took to Twitter to directly threaten Apple if he continues to “disrespect” Hamlin.

You made a good game @EliApple but despise my boy @HamlinIsland Situation that doesn’t let you beat up frfr. Keep it in the field,” he said tweeted.

Tensions seemed to cool after Apple’s tweet, which made clear its intent. Later, his mother, Annie Apple, turned the controversy into an opportunity to support a good cause.

“Call to all Eli Apple haters: Please use the hashtag #LoveToHateEliApple and we’re donating $5,000 to the Salvation Army in Cincinnati… First 5,000 tweets with that hashtag,” she shared Twitter. “Make your hate count. Take advantage of Eli Apple’s hate and help families in need of housing and care.”

Though Apple’s tweet sparked some controversy, the Bills and Bengals were largely united in their support of Hamlin throughout his recovery. Ahead of Sunday’s game, Bengals center Ted Karras told the New York Post that his collapse in Week 17 brought the teams together.

“There was a gathering together,” Karras said. “The whole country was united – more unity than I have seen in a long time. Everyone watched this game. That was the biggest game of the year up to that point, Monday Night Football, the whole universe was watching.

“The cities are very similar – very passionate fanbases, care about football, care about their players, very knowledgeable fanbases. I was happy to see that two cities could really come together in prayer and donations and all sorts of support for the Bills organization and Damar and his family. I am sure we will have many Cincy travelers [at the game Sunday]. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. Big playoff matchup.”

“There was a gathering together,” Karras said. “The whole country was united – more unity than I have seen in a long time. Everyone watched this game. That was the biggest game of the year up to that point, Monday Night Football, the whole universe was watching.



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