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Cameron Kinley is eventually going to serve in the military, and the Navy cornerback has no interest in sidestepping that duty. But he would like the opportunity to pursue his NFL dreams before taking on his military career.
Plenty of other players have gotten a waiver to allow that pursuit, but Kinley was recently denied that opportunity. Now Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is asking President Joe Biden to grant the waiver in order to give Kinley the time he needs to try and make his “lifelong dreams” come true.
“In years past, the U.S. Department of Defense has issued many waivers to allow athletes to temporarily delay their service to our nation to pursue their professional sports dreams,” Rubio wrote, via TheHill.com. “Unfortunately, Mr. Kinley seems to be the exception, and without reason.”
This is wrong.
I will be asking @POTUS to intervene so Cameron Kinley can pursue his NFL career before he begins his service commitment.
I also intend to ask the nominee for Secretary of the Navy to commit to this. https://t.co/HFHoYizKTv
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 19, 2021
Sure, he’s a long shot to make a 53-man roster — or even a practice squad — since he went undrafted back in April, but he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers soon after.
“Mr. Kinley is not seeking to terminate his commitment to the Navy. Far from it. He wishes to promote service to our great nation from one of the country’s largest stages. I implore you to right this wrong,” Rubio said.
“Grant Mr. Kinley’s waiver to play in the NFL, and send a message to future academy graduates that the United States is a country where Americans can follow their dreams and be true to their commitment.”
Hopefully this is something that gets resolved soon, as training camp quickly approaches for the Bucs and the rest of the NFL. Allowing Kinley to defer his service could even benefit the Navy, as his story would serve as a marketing campaign for the Navy and for military service in general.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.
5 CommentsLeave a Reply
Requesting a waiver is appropriate. Having someone honor their commitment is not a wrong regardless of previous waivers. Rubio is wrong for saying so.
I’m perplexed when these academy guys go crazy trying to get out of their DOD commitments. You should have gone to a traditional school if pro ball was your priority. Suck it up butter bar. See your ass at 0600 PT…
This rigidity of thought is one factor that ultimately led me to separate from the military. Giving this guy the chance to make the roster is a small drop in the larger Navy bucket. Not to mention the trickle-down effect if he makes the team and the positive light it can bring to the service. There are literally thousands of fresh officers commissioning each year through the service academies, ROTC, and the various OCSs. Giving a handful of elite athletes the opportunity to play professional sports is not too much to ask.
By allowing Kinley to pursue his dream could also give a boost to the service academy recruiting of fringe players, knowing that if they develop over time and get a shot at professional sports, they will be supported and given an opportunity to pursue that career. The finite window of professional athleticism pales in comparison to the larger time available for military service after a 3 to 5 year pro sports career.
Instead, this rigidity will keep those fringe athletes from even considering the service academies and is creating this publicity for all the wrong reasons.
Consideration also needs to be given for the specific sport. David Robinson is commonly used as a post-service professional athlete. Being a big-man in the NBA in the mid-90s didn’t require nearly as much athleticism as an NFL DB, and no amount of 0600 PT is going to keep him ready to pursue an NFL career after his service contract.
Curious what Roger Staubach thinks about this.
…and David Robinson.