Kinley is required by the Navy to serve as an ensign and is not allowed to appeal the decision that has not been explained, Divine Sports and Entertainment, which represents Kinley, said in a statement.
Kinley, a team captain in the Navy and class president, signed as a permanent free agent with the Buccaneers and attended the team’s rookie minicamp with the Navy’s permission.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Kinley said he has “spent the last week processing my emotions as it is very difficult to be so close to realizing a childhood dream and having it taken away from me.” He also said he “hopes that this situation will be overcome soon and that I can go back to the field and represent the US Navy”.
My personal statement regarding the rejection of my application for the postponement of my service by the Navy: pic.twitter.com/AsNLEPdF1Z
– Cameron Kinley (@ ck3thethrill) June 7, 2021
“As a Naval Academy graduate, soccer player, and excellent combat veteran, I understand Cameron’s commitment,” Divine Sports and Entertainment co-founder Ryan Williams-Jenkins said in the statement. “I also understand that there are ways he can fulfill his obligation while serving in the Navy and playing professional sports. I played with the three-time Super Bowl champion.” Joe Cardonawho is still serving as a marine reservist in our country. If there is a policy and precedent that will allow other Service Academy athletes to take advantage of this opportunity, what makes Cameron different? It’s important to note that doing this could have long-term implications for your mental health. He wants to fulfill both of his childhood dreams, play in the NFL and serve his country with honor. “
Divine Sports and Entertainment pointed out that players for other service academies can waive their commissions and named West Points Point Jon Rattiganwho signed with the Seattle Seahawks, and the Air Force Nolan Laufenberg and George Silvanicwho signed with the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams, respectively.
Following the Navy’s decision, Kinley, who is from Memphis, wrote a letter last week to Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, asking for her help in approaching the Navy to change their decision.
“I am aware of the commitment I made to serve when I first arrived at the Naval Academy, and I am not asking to put that commitment aside. Instead, I want my country and the Navy as an NFL player as much as I like represent other players. ” … If I get a chance in the NFL, I will use this platform to promote service, respect for the armed forces and show young men that they can be successful in the most demanding jobs, no matter what is their background, “he wrote in the letter.
Kinley graduated from Naval Academy last week and presented a gift to Vice President Kamala Harris after her graduation speech.
In 2019 then Secretary of Defense Mark Esper signed a memo led by former President Donald Trump to open the door to athletes at the service academies, to postpone active military service in order to practice professional sport after graduation.