Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple addressed a tweet many perceived to mock Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin while trolling the team and wide receiver Stefon Diggs on Twitter following Sunday's (January 21) AFC Divisional Round win.
Apple initially quote-tweeted Diggs' post addressing his own hostile reaction to the loss with "Cancun on 3," along with a heart shape hands emoji -- similar to the gesture used in support of Hamlin's recovery from suffering cardiac arrest -- on Monday (January 23).
Apple later addressed the situation in a separate tweet shared on Tuesday (January 24), claiming the post wasn't intended to be a shot at Hamlin.
"All love thoughts prayers and concerns to @HamlinIsland as he continues to recover from that tragic incident. Never would I make light of that scary unfortunate scene," Apple tweeted on Tuesday. "This game is truly a dangerous risk to our bodies mind and spirit. Nothing but love to all my football brothers."
Bills players, fans and supporters of Hamlin made the gesture to honor the second-year safety after he suffered cardiac arrest during Buffalo's since-cancelled Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati earlier this month.
Hamlin was present for Sunday's game at Highmark Stadium and was seen making the heart shape hand gesture from a private box. The 24-year-old tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of the January 2 game and got back to his feet before suddenly falling to the ground.
Hamlin was hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and later Buffalo General Medical Center before being released on January 11.
Apple also quote-tweeted a separate post showing CBS' broadcast footage of the incident Diggs was initially referring to, which showed the receiver with his arms raised while addressing quarterback Josh Allen on the sideline after a failed offensive possession late in Sunday's game.
Diggs, who finished Sunday's game with four receptions for 35 yards, reportedly ran off the field at Highmark Stadium immediately after the game and was chased down by practice squad running back Duke Johnson after leaving the locker room prior to being persuaded by Johnson to return for head coach Sean McDermott's postgame message to the team, Yahoo reports.
“He’s frustrated like we all are,” McDermott said of Diggs, who was absent from the Bills' exit interview session with reporters on Monday via Yahoo. “He was in today. He and I spoke, and I’ll leave it at that.”