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Eli Apple admits being put in “weird position” by his mom

Annie Apple’s criticism of Giants put her son in the middle

NFL: New York Giants-Rookie Minicamp
Eli Apple
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Apple’s mom, Annie, is unafraid to speak her mind. What she has to say about issues that go beyond football are often valuable ideas that further discussions that should be important to all of us.

With an active, widely followed Twitter account (@SurvivinAmerica), a role on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown and a column for Sports Illustrated, though, there has always been potential for her views to put her son in an awkward spot with the Giants, the team that made him a first-round pick and signs his paychecks.

Her article in SI this week claiming that the Giants were “leaning heavily” on Eli to “control” her did just that, putting the 21-year-old in a tough spot between his mom and his employer.

Apple told reporters on Thursday that it was “definitely false” that the Giants are pressuring him to control what his mother says or writes:

“Maybe that’s just an assumption of hers, she just felt in her gut, but it’s definitely false,” Eli said of the words included in the latest column written by his mother Annie, published to the website late Wednesday afternoon. “Nobody’s leaning on me to tell her anything, or telling me things to tell her. It’s not like that at all. I think the Giants are a class organization and I’m just happy to be here.”

Annie Apple, a domestic violence survivor, has been openly critical of the Giants’ handling of the Josh Brown situation. That anger has now boiled over into criticism of the organization’s treatment of her son. Which, obviously, puts Eli Apple in a difficult spot.

Eli Apple said he “never had a direct conversation” with his mother about the situation.

The young Giants’ cornerback told reporters that being caught between his mom and his team is “definitely a weird position.” Apple said his mom “has a big voice” and that he “expected things like this.”

Whether he expected them or not, this can’t be easy for a 21-year-old kid trying to learn to be an adult and an NFL player to deal with.

Tara Sullivan of The Record Thursday called Eli Apple “the collateral damage” of his mom’s activism and said that while talking to him in the Giants’ locker room “you could certainly feel for the awkwardness of his situation, feel for a young man who doesn’t want to take aim at his mom, and surely can’t take aim at his employer.”

While battling injuries throughout the first seven games of the season, Eli Apple has shown flashes that make it obvious why the Giants selected him 10th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. Let’s hope that his mom’s outspoken nature, and obvious current dissatisfaction with the Giants, doesn’t stand in the way of Apple becoming the player it looks he could be for the Giants.

“I know how to talk to her a little bit. Me and my mom been going at it for a while,” Apple said Thursday. “I’m going to come at it correct, of course, I’m going to come as her child and go from there.”