The Cincinnati Bengals upset the apple cart at Highmark Stadium and dismantled the Bills and their Super Bowl ambitions.
Then Eli Apple got rotten.
Apple, a Bangladeshi cornerback who enjoys the villain role, mocked Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs in a tweet on Monday night. There may have been a concealed shot at Damar Hamlin.
Diggs, who had not spoken publicly since the Bills bounced out of the playoffs, was fired three tweets in the space of two minutes:
- “Do you want me to be okay with losing? No.”
- “Do you want me to be okay with our level of play if it’s not up to standard? No”
- “It’s easy to criticize my reaction more than the result.”
“Cancun on 3,” Apple quote tweeted, along with an emoji that makes hearts hands, which was Damar Hamlin’s signature greeting as the football world gathered around him. Hamlin wears No. 3 and “Play for 3” emerged as the Bills’ motto.
Apple continued to mock Diggs and the Bills there. He sent over 20 retweets including: a screengrab from a Bills fan who gave him the middle finger; videos portraying Josh Allen a counterfeit in big games who couldn’t stop more than 10 points; a video suggesting that Diggs and Allen are waste; a meme Making fun of Diggs for watching opponents’ parties; an excerpt from the game of Apple gestures while Diggs was on one knee and being attended to by trainers; an animation of Apple slapping cutouts from the heads of Josh Allen, Gabe Davis, Stefon Diggs, Sean McDermott and a Buffalo wing.
“Someone get them into couples therapy,” Apple tweeted over a video of a visibly frustrated Diggs on the sidelines late in the loss to the Bengals. “I will pay God.” Apple tagged Allen and Diggs in the tweet.
The CBS broadcast showed a demonstrative Diggs speaking towards Allen and a Bills associate late in the game. Allen never looked up from his tablet on the couch.
Diggs received criticism for this shooting out of Highmark Stadium right after 27-10 loss. Walking back, Duke Johnson chased Diggs, who left the locker room before head coach Sean McDermott addressed the team and persuaded the star wide receiver to step back. Diggs was unavailable to the media on Sunday or Monday.
“He’s just as frustrated as all of us,” McDermott told reporters on locker cleanup day. “He came in today. He and I have spoken, and I will leave it at that.” McDermott praised Diggs’ competitiveness and passion that the team loves.
Apple knocked down a pass in the end zone as the Bills went for it on fourth and sixth from their 20-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. He celebrated by running a finger down Bills sideline and then kept gesturingdance and raise his arms to bask in victory.
Apple conducted postgame interviews leaning against a wall and smoke a cigar in the locker room.
“We’re simply the best,” said Apple.
Hamlin attended the division round with his mother and younger brother less than three weeks after going into cardiac arrest and being resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. The heart hands were included in nearly all of his Twitter and Instagram posts during his recovery from hospital beds in Cincinnati and Buffalo.
Bills players honored Hamlin with number 3 patches on their jerseys and hats, and repeatedly formed their hands into a heart shape to celebrate touchdowns in their first game after Hamlin’s medical emergency. Hamlin’s heart-shaped signal is ubiquitous in Buffalo and appears on ice sculptures, muralsand T shirts.
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