Former Navy Midshipmen defensive back Cameron Kinley has officially been granted permission to attend Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp after previously being denied because of a rule that barred U.S. Naval Academy players from delaying their commissions.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that on Tuesday (July 6) Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, granted Kinley the ability to delay his military commission to chase his NFL dream.
Both Kinley’s initial request and his appeal were previously denied until Austin stepped in.
Kinley’s agents at Divine Sports & Entertainment said in a statement that they advocated for Kinley’s professional football career and wanted to make sure his story was told. They also thanked the NFL Players Association, the NFL league office, Congress and others that worked with them on behalf of the former Navy team captain. Additionally, Kinley released his own statement following his admission.
"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. I am extremely appreciative of Secretary Austin's decision and I am excited to represent our fine military in the National Football League. This past month has been very challenging and I am thankful for everyone who has supported me in any way,” Kinley said, according to CBS Sports.
“Sometimes in life God tells us to be still. We do not always understand what He is trying to show us, but He always has an ultimate plan,” Kinsey added, in part. “The most valuable lesson I've learned throughout this whole process is to trust His timing and remain confident in the fact that God will always prevail. Thank you to my village for standing beside me. Without my family and close friends, there is no way I would be where I am today.”
A CBS Sports report from last month said that the Department of Defense barred players from delaying their commissions in 2017. The policy was reversed in 2019, however, and some players were allowed exemptions.
Kinley, who was not drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft, spent minicamp with the Bucs, which gave him the opportunity to compete for a roster spot.