WASHINGTON — The US military will enable Naval Academy graduate Cameron Kinley to pursue a career in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Kinley’s plea for a postponement of his commissioning was refused by Acting Navy Secretary Tom Harker. “We know Cameron will use every opportunity on and off the field to successfully represent the Navy and the military to the American people and to assist us in our recruitment efforts,” Austin said.
“I am sure that Cameron will represent the Navy well in the NFL, just as he did as a top athlete and class president at the Naval Academy,” President Joe Biden said of Austin’s choice.
“I am incredibly thankful for Secretary Austin’s decision, and I am eager to represent our wonderful military in the National Football League,” Kinley said in a letter uploaded to Twitter on Tuesday. This last month has been really difficult for me, and I am grateful to everyone who has helped me in any way.”
Kinley, a cornerback, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Later this month, he will be eligible to attend the Buccaneers’ training camp.
Cameron will serve in the Inactive Ready Reserve throughout his NFL career, and then “we look forward to welcoming him back into the ranks as a naval officer,” according to Austin.