Cameron Kinley still preparing for the NFL in hopes Navy will allow him to delay service

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Buccaneers rookie Cameron Kinley has been told he can’t play in the NFL until he serves his active duty commitment in the Navy, but he’s continuing to prepare for the possibility that that decision will be reversed.

“I’m kind of living a double life where I’m preparing to be an NFL player still just in case things get reversed and I’m also preparing for my career as an officer in the Navy,” Kinley said on Fox News. “I’m kind of living this double life, staying hopeful, staying strong in my faith that things can get turned around.”

Kinley acknowledged that he, like everyone who attends Army, Navy or Air Force, made a commitment to active military service, but he is hoping he will be allowed to work in recruiting people to the military while he’s in the NFL, and then go into active military service after playing in the NFL.

“I made the commitment when I signed my contract before my junior year and I’m still willing to honor that commitment,” Kinley added. “I just want to be able to delay my commission to play in the NFL first and be that ambassador for the Navy and help recruit. And after my time in the NFL, go serve as an officer in the Navy. I’m definitely looking forward to that career.”

Senator Marco Rubio has asked President Biden to allow Kinley to delay his service and play for the Buccaneers. Biden has not yet responded.

8 responses to “Cameron Kinley still preparing for the NFL in hopes Navy will allow him to delay service

  1. Shouldn’t be up to the Navy and really shouldn’t be granted as they only do it for athletes and no other service members. Simply not fair. Lots of cadets have had opportunities they are waiting on but they made a commitment.

  2. If they don’t let the players defer service if they have a chance to go pro, a lot of academy players will start to look at other avenues foe an education!

  3. I can remember rolling around the 100° sandbox for months on end and thinking “I signed up for this, but now I have a different dream. The Corp should let me go follow my new dream right now. It’s not fair.” #SERVICE1ST

  4. Clarity and consistency would be important. As one of 8 UDFA signings by the reigning SB champs, his odds aren’t the best. And there is always a lot of players waived, and then resigned on the PS. If Kinley doesn’t make the 53 – does he report for service? Another team signs him to their practice squad – back to the NFL? Released with an injury settlement from training camp – delay service for another year to try again when the injury is healed?
    Complicated.

  5. You signed the line now serve the time. That’s what the rest of us Veterans had to do.

  6. I’m all for serving for what you’ve signed up for but why are some players allowed to pursue the NFL and others aren’t?

  7. The US Military can do a better job of allowing deferments, such as this, and opt-outs, similar to policies of Great Britain, Australia,at all levels of service, including enlisted. The service academies allow 2 full years of no commitment, full ride tuition, r&b, ancillary expenses, with an opt-out prior to fall 3rd year. That opt-out requires no further commitment of service, even to the inactive reserves. And that is OK from my view. It is not unreasonable to give 20 yr olds the opportunity to re-think things. But he did have 2 years to figure out he might have a shot at a pro career. He could have made different choices-transferred to a school with better pro prep than USNA. A 4 year full ride education at USNA is quite a price to pay for a glorified recruiter. Nor should this be political theatre. Opt-out provisions are fine, they should be expanded to serve enlisted as well as officer candidates, but after waiving the opt-out, everyone should have the same expectation of service, athlete or not.

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