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Marquette King Says He Hasn’t Gotten Fair Opportunity to Return to NFL

Former All-Pro punter Marquette King issued a series of tweets earlier this week, in which he claimed that discrimination contributed to him receiving a lack of opportunities in the NFL. 

Although he didn’t go as far as to announce his official retirement, the 33-year-old said that he is “done fighting” and has been “settling with the fact” that he hasn’t “been able to get another fair opportunity” in the NFL since last playing with the Broncos in 2018.

“I haven’t officially retired I’m just not fighting to get in a league that ignores the resume I’ve created that’s better that over half of the punters in the NFL,” King wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

King continued, saying that Black punters and kickers still do not receive equal opportunities in the NFL despite his efforts to try and pave the way in the sport. 

“I tried but it’s a lot of brothers still not getting fair opportunity as well in the League as punters n kickers. Some of the ones that got a shot I’n preseason would hit me but me but what could I say? I was cut with a successful resume,” King wrote.

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King, who began his career as an undrafted free agent out of Fort Valley State in 2012, established himself as one of the best punters of the 2010s. He averaged 46.7 yards per punt while playing for the Raiders and the Broncos between 2013 and ’18, ranking fifth-best in NFL history. He earned a second-team All-Pro nomination for his performance in Oakland during the 2016 campaign. 

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However, King hasn’t played in an NFL game since making four appearances for Denver in 2018.  He went on to play in the since-defunct XFL for five games with the St. Louis Battlehawks in 2020, but hasn’t played anywhere since.

“It’s only been 6 African American punters 2 play in the NFL since 1920 n earn at least 1 credited season. Over the last 3 seasons I havent been able to get a job but still have a top 5 punting average,” King wrote. “Being quiet allowed people to create bulls–t narratives about me n I thought being quiet would get me another job in the NFL but none of that worked so I’m taking matters into my own hands. Now the info is officially coming from the actual source.”

King reiterated in an appearance on I Am Athlete Tonight that he doesn’t want to stop playing and that he still loves football.

“I don’t want to stop playing,” King said on the podcast “I love kicking the ball. I enjoy doing my job and setting the team up and everything. But for some weird reason, I’m not getting no sniffs, no anything. So I kinda feel like I’m being blackballed, blacklisted, whatever it is.

“And it’s kind of like, taxing mentally because you consistently work your ass off everyday and putting in work, and you just don’t know. You just don’t know.”

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