Giants cornerback Eli Apple’s career derailed by family drama
Eli Apple was riding high when the New York Giants made him the No. 10 pick at the 2016 NFL Draft and then proceeded to reward him with 11 starts in his rookie season for a playoff team. However, things have gone downhill from there.
Apple sniped at then-coach Ben McAdoo and spent a number of weeks on the bench without much of an explanation. On Saturday, Dan Duggan of NJ Advanced Media issued a detailed report on family drama that has reportedly been a major factor in Apple lashing out this season.
“One of the biggest reasons Eli is declining so much this year as opposed to last year is [stepfather Tim Apple’s absence],” Apple’s half-brother Dane Blackson said. “I know everyone always talks about the fame and all of the attention and how all of that can go to your head. But you have to imagine that from middle school to the NFL, Tim was there.
“Tim made this whole thing happen. Tim didn’t miss a game. Whenever Eli looked for that support, that was always there. Now, this year whenever he goes to look for support, it’s not real, it’s not genuine.”
Apple reportedly fired his stepfather as his de facto business manager just days before Father’s Day this year and the two haven’t spoken since. His stepfather declined comment on the specifics of why he was fired, but he did issue this comment to Duggan.
“I love my son and I miss my son,” Tim said. “That’s the bottom line. That’s really what it’s about at this point: I miss my son.”
Tim and Eli’s mother, Annie Apple, were divorced in May after 16 years of marriage and Annie and her youngest son have lived together in Hoboken since while the rest of the family remains in Voorhees where they grew up. And Eli’s half-brother claims their mother has turned him against the rest of the family.
The report goes on to detail a few additional turning points in the relationship and then relates it back to issues he’s had with teammates and on the field. It’s a pretty sad portrait of a reality that we often forget.
Football players are human beings just like the rest of us, and their personal lives can impact their work for better or worse. In the case of Apple, we can only hope that such a promising young career hasn’t been irreparably damaged by off-the-field issues.