WASHINGTON — A former football player for the U.S. Naval Academy will be allowed to postpone his military commission and attend NFL training camp at the end of July, according to his agent. Cornerback Cameron Kinley tweeted the news Tuesday, expressing gratitude to his "village" and agent, and announcing he would join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at camp.
"Today, I was informed the Secretary of Defense will be allowing me to continue my journey with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and attend training camp at the end of this month," according to a statement Kinley tweeted. "I am extremely appreciative of Secretary Austin's decision and I am excited to represent our fine military in the National Football League."
Kinley said in an interview with WUSA9's Darren Haynes that President Joe Biden directly played a part in his being allowed to play with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
"I am confident that Cameron will represent the Navy well in the NFL, just as he did as a standout athlete and class president at the Naval Academy. After his NFL career is over, he will continue to make us proud as an officer in the United States Navy," said Biden in a recent statement about Kinley being allowed to pursue his athletic dreams.
Previously, the Naval Academy had said Kinley, an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, would be required to fulfill his service commitment now – unlike those at other service academies who also signed NFL contracts and delayed some or all duties of their commission to accommodate.
"We are pleased with the decision the [U.S. Navy] has made on behalf of our player, [Cameron Kinley]," Divine Sports & Entertainment, the agency that represents Kinley, tweeted out Tuesday. "We have been in prayer and know that God works everything out."
Kinley signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent back in May. According to Divine Sports and Entertainment, Kinley was approved by the U.S. Navy to participate in rookie minicamp.
"Due to unexplained reasons, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker has denied Kinley's request to delay his commission," the agency wrote in a previous press release before the July 6 decision.
It also claimed Kinley was being denied a fair process and his dream of playing in the NFL by not being given an opportunity to appeal the decision.
Kinley isn't the only Navy football player to play in the NFL and in other professional sports leagues.
Roger Staubach had a hall of fame career with the Dallas Cowboys, and David Robinson, who nicked named "The Admiral" for his Navy roots, had a stellar career at a center for the San Antonio Spurs.