Marquette King was once one of the success stories of the NFL.
As an African-American punter from a historically black college, King defied the odds of what people expected from a man at his position.
And then, at the age of 29, he was out of the league. Three years later, King is speaking out about how he feels he was essentially black-balled from the league.
King took to Twitter to declare that he had made peace with the fact that he’d likely never punt in the NFL again despite being very good at it. He averaged 46.7 yards per punt while playing for the Raiders and the Broncos between 2013 and ’18 – good for fifth all-time.
“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 haven’t 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 last punted in the NFL in 2018, playing in four games for the Denver Broncos.
“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 in late June.
Marquette King later went on the I Am Athlete Today podcast and spoke more in-depth regarding his tweets and where he currently stands.
“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. ”
Florida A&M alumnus Greg Coleman, the first black punter in the NFL, spoke out on King’s behalf, calling his handling a “crock.”
“Marquette King should be punting in the NFL,” he tweeted. “Talent knows talent & this brother has it. I still believe your day is coming! ”
Our own HBCU Gameday Florida A&M contributor Vaughn Wilson sees King’s plight as all too familiar.
“I was a two-time All-American out of FAMU as a punter and never got a serious consideration by the NFL. Fortunately, Greg Coleman was in a position to encourage the Minnesota Vikings to take a look at me otherwise I would likely would not have even had a tryout for the NFL. I’ve watched King since he was punting for Fort Valley. His senior year, he was a wrecking machine from the punter position. He kept flipping the field and aided FVSU to nearly beat FAMU. Head coach Taylor marveled at his leg and his ability to keep the Rattlers pinned deep. Jon Gruden pushed for the Radiers to get rid of King before he even arrived. I guess karma is something else. ”