Bengals' likability takes a nosedive after Eli Apple's insensitive tweets

Kristen Wong
Cincinnati Bengals, Eli Apple
Cincinnati Bengals, Eli Apple / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
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Every NFL team has a trash-talker, and for the Cincinnati Bengals, that player is cornerback Eli Apple.

While some Bengals players like Joe Burrow have opted to refrain from using social media during the season, others have taken a much different approach.

Apple, who is in his second year in Cincinnati, is no stranger to the spotlight and has basked in the media's attention for his highly controversial takes. He went after -- out of all things -- New Orleans' cuisine last year and has taken shots at both the Saints' and Giants' fanbases following his unceremonious exit from both teams.

The corner tends to ramp up his Twitter usage around this time of year, much to the chagrin of Bengals fans everywhere. Cincinnati have yet to win the AFC Championship much less the Super Bowl, but Apple has been running his mouth on Twitter for no apparent reason.

One of his tweets crossed the line:

Many believe Apple was referring to Bills' Damar Hamlin, who wears the No. 3 jersey. It's unclear why he's talking about Hamlin in the first place, but it is clear that he's rubbing the Bengals' Divisional Round win in Bills players' faces.

Yet if he just wants to gloat, why refer to a player who suffered a cardiac arrest less than a month ago? His emoji of choice is also sickening as that is the same gesture Hamlin used during his recovery as a symbol of love and appreciation to the NFL community and to the people who showed him support. People on Twitter were understandably less than enthused.

Bengals CB Eli Apple needs to tone down the trash talk and focus on football

Hounded by the Bengals' PR team, Apple issued an apology shortly after; however, his initial tweet hasn't been deleted and still makes him look insensitive and tactless.

Apple in fact made a whole day out of trolling the Bills, reposting various videos and memes from the playoff game and firing shots at Bills wideout Stefon Diggs in particular. In response to Apple's rapid-fire and careless tweeting, Diggs called Apple a "clout chaser" to which Apple replied, "Safe travels to Cabo."

The Bengals corner can't seem to walk away from a Twitter spat, especially when he's on the winning team. He behaved the exact same way last year when the Bengals beat the Chiefs in the AFC Championship and has fallen back into his pesky patterns again.

Apple would do well to remember that even though the Bengals are coming off two dominant playoff victories, he hasn't been the greatest cornerback.

He was smoked on a route by Ravens' Demarcus Robinson in the Wild Card game leading to Robinson's touchdown, and against the Bills, he didn't singlehandedly shut down Stefon Diggs -- he had help from an elite backfield consisting of Mike Hilton, Vonn Bell, and others.

And no one is going to forget Los Angeles Rams' Cooper Kupp humiliating Apple on the field in last year's Super Bowl. Apple better be able to put a ring where his mouth is this time around.

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In the last two years, Apple has made enemies out of the Saints, Giants, Ravens, Chiefs, and now the Bills. He's turned into one of the most unlikable players in the league, and the Bengals unfortunately have to pay the price.

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