Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Eli Apple under fire for tweet appearing to Mock Bills’ Damar Hamlin

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Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple takes some heat for a tweet mocking the Buffalo Bills — seemingly targeting Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin in the process.

Apple took to Twitter on Monday with a series of tweets beating the Bills for their 27-10 loss to the Bengals in Sunday’s division round playoff game. In between, tweets mocking Bill’s quarterback Josh Allen and suggesting Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs should go to him couples therapyApple added a message addressed to Diggs, which also appeared to refer to Hamlin’s frightening collapse at week 17 and subsequent recovery.

During Sunday’s game, Diggs got angry on the sidelines and got angry at Allen for missed shots. He took to Twitter on Monday to explain his actions. He said he was frustrated with the loss and suggested people should be more critical of the team’s struggles than their reactions to them.

Apple retweeted Diggs’ message, adding a taunt made famous by NBA player Patrick Beverly about a team going on vacation after the season ends.

At the bottom of the message, Apple included an emoji of two hands forming a heart shape — a symbol Hamlin often sported and was taken by many Bills players as a sign of support while Safety was hospitalized for the second year after suffering cardiac arrest would. Diggs has used the emoji several times to encourage his teammate and celebrate his recovery.

Hamlin also made the gesture at Sunday’s game, his first appearance at the stadium since suffering cardiac arrest in the January 2 game.

Although Apple didn’t refer directly to Hamlin, it seemed clear to many Bills fans that the emoji was aimed at him.

“Trash talk is part of the game. It’s absolute rubbish to make it personal about a child who almost died,” said one fan tweeted as answer to.

“Did you really make fun of Diggs and mock Damar Hamlin? You are a scumbag. Continue to remain a below average corner in this league.” tweeted another.

Others said he served as a bad representative for the Bengals, a franchise that showed support for the Bills during Hamlin’s collapse and in the days that followed.

“@Bengal Is that the kind of reputation you want to uphold? I saw you guys as the organization of the class,” another fan tweeted. “I guess I was wrong.”

After Sunday’s loss, some Bills players said Hamlin’s frightening breakdown and the uncertainty of his recovery had drained the team. While many players returned to Buffalo after the game was canceled in Week 17, some remained hospitalized with Hamlin.

Offensive lineman Rodger Saffold said Monday that the team was physically and emotionally drained from the incident early in the playoffs.

“Saffold specifically said they were emotionally drained after the NE game (week after). Hamelin injury) and needed a break, but of course had to play a playoff game right away,” tweeted WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio. “Said mindset was to fight through the next two weeks as best they could and hopefully get that break before SB.”

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