Thanksgiving dinner could be awkward this year for the Apples.
Annie Apple, the mother of Giants rookie cornerback Eli Apple, contends that the team leaned on her son in an effort to silence her. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Eli Apple said that no one from the Giants has leaned on him or otherwise pressured him to get his mother to keep quiet.
So what’s the truth? There’s not much gray area. Either the Giants leaned on Eli Apple, or they didn’t.
Annie Apple has her reasons for believing that they did, and she has platforms for expressing those reasons in detail. It will be interesting to see whether she has anymore to say on the subject.
It’s clear that she has already become disillusioned with her son’s employer. In her latest column at SI.com, Annie Apple explains that she traveled to London for the Week Seven game between the Giants and Rams but that she ultimately couldn’t bring herself to attend. She also expresses disappointment that no one from the team has reached out to her in response to the column she wrote in response to the Josh Brown situation.
Perhaps the team doesn’t want to set new precedent by directly engaging parents of players who develop a presence in the media, or maybe the Giants fear that there’s nothing they can say without making the situation worse. Either way, she went from being all in with the Giants to all out, quickly.
Annie Apple has every right to express herself, and the Giants deserve to be criticized for how they handled the Josh Brown situation. Still, it would be foolish to think other teams won’t decide based on this case to include in future draft evaluations the possibility that a player will have a mother, father, or some other family member who develops a public voice that can be used to complicate the organization’s desire to remove distractions and to focus single-mindedly on the challenge of winning football games.