As Patriots rookie kicker Justin Rohrwasser went for his first NFL field goal, his left forearm tattoo captured the interest of a number of viewers.
In a late-night interview with WBZ-TV on Monday, Rohrwasser stated that he was planning to remove the tattoo, a logo of the Three Percenters – a far-right paramilitary group. After his selection during the fifth round of Saturday’s NFL Draft, he spoke to local reporters, stating that he was unaware of the tattoo’s meaning when he got it as a teenager.
On an interview with WBZ two days later, he stated that he got it when he was 18, and was unaware of its true meaning until a few minutes before his interview on Saturday. He stated that he had plans to cover it up.
He said: “As soon as I saw what it was linked to on Saturday, it was exactly that time I knew I had to get it totally taken off my body. I said cover it up [to reporters], but I want to get it removed from my body. It’s shameful that I had it on there ignorantly.”
In recent years, the Three Percenters have supported an armed occupation of a wildlife refuge, participated in white nationalist protests, and attempted to blow up a building. However, its leaders later denounced racism.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group is a pro-gun organization and “anti-government” group. The Three Percenters maintain that their existence is not aimed at inciting a revolution or overthrowing the government, but to “reign in an overreaching government and push back against tyranny.”
Rohrwasser had the tattoo through most of his college career – he started at Rhode Island and concluded at Marshall. He got the tattoo sometime during his first semester at URI, and after two seasons, transferred to Marshall, where he was named Conference USA’s Special Teams Player of the Year. He also became one of the best kicker prospects in the country.
Speaking to WBZ, he claimed that no one at Marshall had ever questioned his tattoo.
“I’m sorry for all my [friends] and family that have to defend me. Putting them in that compromising position is one of the biggest regrets I’ll ever have. To them, I’m sorry. I’m going to learn from this. I’m going to take ownership of it. This is not who I am. No matter what, that’s not who I am. Hopefully, you will all find that out,” he said.