New England Patriots kicker Justin Rohrwasser, who was selected in the fifth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft, found his big moment wrapped in controversy due to a tattoo that viewers spotted on his arm. Rohrwasser has a tattoo of the “Three Percenters” symbol which is an alt-right militia.
This week, while speaking with WBZ-TV in Boston, the 23-year-old kicker again apologized for the tattoo and revealed that he will be getting it removed. Rohrwasser first got the tattoo when he was 18 years old.
“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,” Rohrwasser said. “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.
“It was described to me as the percentage of colonists that rose up against the government of the British. I was like, ‘Wow, that is such an American sentiment, a patriotic sentiment.’ Coming from a military family, I thought that really spoke to me. I always was proud to be an American. I’m very proud to be an American.”
Rohrwasser said that he was first made aware of the group’s links to the alt-right movement on Saturday after he was drafted. He previously believed the tattoo was simply to support the military.
“We were celebrating and hugging [on Saturday]. So happy. I went on to Twitter,” he said. “I saw that someone had taken a picture of me and put it with my tattoo and linking me to some horrific events — obviously Charlottesville and these horrible things.
“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.”
Rohrwasser was the first kicker selected in the 2020 NFL Draft and is set to replace longtime Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski.