AP Speaks

Antonio Pierce spoke publicly for the first time since he learned he was not going to be indicted on gun-related charges Monday afternoon. Here's what New York's middle linebacker said to a horde of media gathered in Albany.

I would like to make a statement. It's been a long nine months since November 2008 when the incident took place. I'm glad I had the opportunity to speak to the grand jury and let them hear the facts from my lips, not from anybody else, but hear the facts from me. I thought I acted very reasonably, responsibly, and instinctively. I had a teammate in need and my concern that night was to get him help. There are a lot of people, obviously, that I want to and need to thank. First and foremost, I want to thank my family for dealing a lot and staying behind Antonio Pierce and knowing who he really is. Secondly, my friends. Thirdly, and not lastly, the New York Giants – the whole organization. They are one of the main reasons I came to New York, because of the organization, the front office, and the people around here. Obviously those statements have been made several times throughout this process. With that being said, I am not sorry for how I acted that night and how I responded. I am sorry for putting myself in a position in which I had to respond. I've learned a lot of lessons from this. I take them to heart, and I obviously take them seriously. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but ever since the New York Giants got to Albany the sun has been out and it's been bright, and Antonio Pierce and the New York Giants are looking forward. I'm tired of seeing myself on the TV and my name in the news. It's time to talk about the New York Giants and the 2009 season. Anything that happened in 2008 is really irrelevant at this point, and I don't have anything to say about that incident or that season because I need to move forward just like the team does, and that's what we plan on doing.

Q: Why wait a day to address the situation?
A: It's the decision I made.

Q: What was your reaction when you heard the news that you weren't going to be indicted?
A: Obviously very relieved.

Q: Were you surprised the last couple of weeks when you heard that the D.A. was pressing charges?
A: That's between me and the D.A.

Q: How supportive were your team mates during this time?
A: My hat is off to my teammates. I had text messages and calls from my teammates. Throughout this whole process they've been very supportive, they've been there for me and it's a lot easier when you're on that green field with the boys. Coming back up to Albany again, getting ready for this 2009 season – that's what I've been looking forward to and that's what they've been looking forward to.

Q: Did you feel like the grand jury was listening to you and getting what you were saying?
A: When I was there for that long I'm pretty sure that they were listening very well. I was there for a long period of time, but I just let it take its course. The people of New York obviously heard what I had to say, they heard the witnesses and everybody that was involved with that night, and they made a decision.

Q: Having helped a teammate and a friend during a tough time and then come back, how do you feel and what goes through your mind?
A: At the end of the day this is a business and you have to handle it as a busi ness. You have to be professional in going about your business. I'm not going to keep answering questions about that incident. If you guys have any questions about the 2009 season, I am very excited to talk about that, but I will not continue to talk about other things. Not in a negative way, but I'm ready to move forward and so are my teammates. Thank you.

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