- Last Updated: 8:27 AM, June 13, 2012
- Posted: 12:26 AM, June 13, 2012
As a crowd gathered in front of David Diehl’s locker, his friend and longtime offensive linemate, Chris Snee, glanced over and as he walked away said “Go easy on him.’’
A moment later, Diehl arrived and spent the next several minutes doing what he has never before been required to do in his 10 years with the Giants: Apologize for an off-the-field incident that embarrassed himself and brought negative attention to his team.
As the Giants gathered for the first day of their mandatory three-day mini-camp Tuesday, Diehl faced the music, expressing his deep regret for the events that led to his arrest Sunday night on DWI charges.
Diehl also said he hoped his formerly pristine track record with the Giants won’t be permanently stained by this incident.
“If there’s anybody that’s sincerely regretful in this situation, it’s myself,” Diehl said. “Just like anything in my life good, bad or indifferent, I’m always an accountable person, a man who stands up when things are tough and this is no different. I’m going to make sure I learn from this, it’s a mistake I guarantee will never, ever happen again. I’m going to make sure I help people never make the same decision I made. I’m going to become a stronger person because of it.
“I know people are going to judge me and they’re going to say what they want to say about me, but the true people that have been around me, the people that know me, the people in this locker room, the people I do charity work with week in and week out, they know who I am as a character and a person.’’
Law-enforcement sources contacted by The Post said Diehl crashed his black BMW into two vehicles on 35th Street near 31st Street in Astoria after drinking at a nearby bar where he was watching Croatia play Ireland in a European Championship soccer match. Cops said Diehl’s blood-alcohol content was .18 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit. He was arrested and his next court date is July 26, the day the Giants are to report to training camp in Albany.
Diehl faces a fine but not a suspension for his actions.
“I was shocked when I heard it, but then I wanted to make sure he was OK,’’ Snee said. “He’s been a great teammate, a great friend and he’s been a class act for this organization and will continue to be so. He’s been great for this organization, for the O-line kind of like the spokesperson as long as I’ve been here. He’ll continue to be that guy.’’
Giants coach Tom Coughlin described Diehl as “very remorseful’’ as he offered his support.
“He’s a very proud young man as you know,’’ Coughlin said. “He’s very sorry for what happened. He’s been an exemplary citizen for this organization. He recognizes and he’s going to be a very, very good spokesperson for trying to help young people understand that his mistake can be avoided in whatever way possible. He’s a guy who we’ve always been able to count on and he’ll learn from this.”
Diehl did not issue a team-wide apology but expressed that sentiment privately to any teammate who came by to offer support.
“He’s a great teammate and an even better person,’’ guard Kevin Boothe said. “We’re fully behind him.’’
Diehl would not comment on any specifics of the incident.
“There’s not many things I can answer because it’s still a legal process,” he said. “I can stand here, I’m an accountable person. I take responsibility for my actions.’’
He said the past few days have been “awful and this is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced in my life.’’ He also pledged “I’m a positive role model, I’m going to continue to be one. I think people are going to see the way I handle myself and the way I carry myself that I’m going to show the people that are behind me, they’re not wrong.’’Follow @NYPostsports