Redskins fullback Eric Kettani is just the type of player the NFL would love to see representing the league on this Fourth of July: In addition to playing for the Redskins, he’s a graduate of the Naval Academy and was recently promoted to lieutenant in the Navy. But not everyone is a fan of Kettani.
In fact, Kettani said in an interview on NFL Network that people have lashed out at him for making an arrangement with the Navy to go to the NFL before completing the five years of active duty required of most Naval Academy graduates. Kettani agreed to do public affairs and recruiting work for the next seven years in exchange for the Navy allowing him to leave active duty to play in the NFL.
“I received some hate mail, saying, ‘Go back to the military, do your job, and do what you signed up for.’ They have every right to say that,” Kettani said.
Kettani spent two years in active service after graduating from the Naval Academy in 2009 and then was told that he’d be allowed to go to the NFL. At the start of the 2011 season he was on the Patriots’ practice squad, but the Navy reversed course and told him to report to active duty. In 2012 the Navy reversed course again and allowed him to go back to the NFL.
Not everyone agrees with that decision, but Kettani is proud to be doing what the military requires of him while chasing his NFL dream.