If there’s anyone more lively than Annie Apple, that person is not of this world, and honestly neither is Annie Apple. Apple is a fearless force with an infectious personality and a light in any room. Dubbed “The MVP of NFL Moms” by the Wall Street Journal, Annie Apple joined ESPN as a contributor to Sunday NFL Countdown in 2016, offering player profile for the popular pregame show. She also wrote a weekly yearlong columnist for Sports Illustrated. Though she’s known Panthers CB Eli Apple, Annie Apple is a seasoned journalist who began her career more than 20 years ago as a writer/producer, from for national news programs on NBC – Weekend Today Show and NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw – and CNN (American Morning), as well as the NBC and CBS affiliates in Philadelphia, including Philly’s own 10! Show. She’s also worked as a Public Relations consultant and freelance Digital Content Producer and sports/entertainment news producer. A pop culture junkie and sports enthusiast, Apple particularly enjoys covering and commentating on the never-ending comedies and complexities of the human experience whether on Twitter (SurvivnAmerca) or her podcast, Raising A Pro. With the launch of her podcast Raising A Pro, Apple explores the journey, struggles and successes of some of today’s top athletes and personalities through the eyes and experiences of those who know them best: their parents.
Annie Apple served as President of the Ohio State Football Parents Association, Football Parents of Ohio State, and led the charge to get travel stipends for players’ families. She championed a parents’ letter-writing campaign for the College Football Playoff and was outspoken about the financial burden placed on players’ families. Before Ohio State entered the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014, efforts spearheaded by Apple resulted in the NCAA allowing a $2,5000 travel cost reimbursement per each participating players’ parents. “Watching countless families afford to see their sons play on the biggest stage without going into debt was an amazing moment which now lives on through NCAA Football and basketball,” says Apple proudly. “It was a fight worth fighting”. Annie Apple’s most important fight these days is the fight against domestic violence.
What makes Annie Apple remarkable is her ability to thrive beyond her wounds and the ability to maintain her joy, humor and perspective even in the midst of life’s storms. A domestic violence survivor, Apple endured years of physical abuse in her late teens and 20s. Her experience as a struggling teen mother and a woman who survived two traumatic marriages has given Apple a strong compassion for empowering women to continue living purposeful lives. That is why she founded HealHer Network, a mobile support outreach for women focusing on domestic violence. Each Month during the NFL season, HealHer Network goes to designated NFL cities and connects with domestic violence survivors in their quest to rebuild their lives. HealHer Network’s events and programs provide a voice and support for survivors while equipping and empowering them to live beyond their wounds. “It’s time to use this amazing platform and stage provided by the NFL and to shine that spotlight on the wounds and healing process of women and to let survivors know that they’re valued and appreciated and their voice and their healing are important, and their safety is a priority, Says Apple.” HealHer Network launched May 2019. “Of all the things I’ve ever accomplished in my life broth personally and professionally, HealHer Network is my proudest, most purposeful mission.”
Born in West Africa, Apple and her mother came to the United States when she was eight years old. “My mom is a missionary. Growing up we traveled across West and East Africa, then parts of Europe. Mom would preach, and my six other siblings and I would sing. “We were the African Partridge Family without the bus.” Apple and her mom traveled from West Africa to London, Scotland then to America in the early 80s. Apple grew up in Newark, New Jersey, then moved to Southwest Philadelphia where she attended high school and college. Apple became a mother at age 16. She rose above her circumstances and graduated high school as president of the National Honor Society. Apple is a proud graduate of LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA, where she earned degrees in Communication and English.