Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple clarified that he wasn't making fun of Damar Hamlin when trolling Buffalo Bills wideout Stefon Diggs on Twitter:
Eli Apple @EliApple
All love thoughts prayers and concerns to <a href="https://twitter.com/HamlinIsland?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HamlinIsland</a> as he continues to recover from that tragic incident. Never would I make light of that scary unfortunate scene. This game is truly a dangerous risk to our bodies mind and spirit. Nothing but love to all my football brothers
The criticism came after Apple mocked Diggs' post-game reaction following the Bengals' 27-10 win over the Bills on Sunday:
"Cancun on 3" has been a way to ridicule players eliminated from the playoffs in various sports, indicating the next step is to take a vacation. On the other hand, some saw it as a slight against Hamlin, who wears No. 3 and often makes a heart symbol with his hands, including during Sunday's game from the press box.
Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson saw Apple's post as "disrespect" for Hamlin's situation.
Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field during the Bills' Week 17 game against the Bengals and spent over a week in the intensive care unit before being released from the hospital.
The entire NFL has offered support to Hamlin and the Bills since his collapse, while his impressive recovery has become national news.
Apple, on the other hand, has a long history of trolling his competitors and was likely just mocking Diggs after the Bengals' win. He also posted a video of Diggs arguing with quarterback Josh Allen during the game:
It appears to be only the beginning of what could be a fun rivalry between two of the top teams in the AFC.