New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple was suspended for the final game of the 2017-2018 NFL season.
The team, in a statement, announced the move, saying he won’t play against the Washington Redskins.
General manager Kevin Abrams and interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo notified him.
“We have suspended Eli for a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team,” Abrams said.
Apple was benched, according to Yahoo Sports, for poor play, family turmoil, and other reasons. No further details were given.
He apparently argued with coaches, including position coach Tim Walton. ESPN reported that Giants teammates restrained Apple from going after Walton. He also refused to go on the practice field with the scout team.
A few days ago, Giants safety Landon Collins slammed his teammate, saying he “needs to grow up” and called him a “cancer” on the team, NBC Sports reported.
“There is only one corner who needs to grow up and we all know who that is,” Collins said. “That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, [Rodgers-Cromarie] and [Jenkins], I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do. That first pick. . . . He’s a cancer.”
Collins later apologized for the remarks, according to reports.
Coach Spagnuolo also said that he, Collins, and Apple had “a conversation.”
“(Landon and I) had a quick conversation this morning and then I had a quick conversation with Eli,” said Spagnuolo, according to the team website. “And then all three of us had a really good conversation and it was very productive and I’ll just leave it at that. It’s between them and they were really great.”
Apple’s half-brother, Dane Blackson, meanwhile, came to the player’s defense.
“I feel like when people say Eli’s like a cancer … I just think of mom,” Blackson told TMZ. “I feel like he never had a fair shot. I mean, a lot of this sh– that you could be judging him on, there’s really a master behind him pulling the strings. So, as far as Eli being the cancer, I don’t really see Eli being the cancer more than I see mom being the cancer and him not being able to distance himself.”
Last week, he also told NJ Advance Media that some of Apple’s problems have due to “an abrupt falling out” between his mother and stepfather, and their divorce. “One of the biggest reasons Eli is declining so much this year as opposed to last year is (his stepfather’s absence),” 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.”