New England Patriots rookie place kicker Justin Rohrwasser has announced he will remove a tattoo on his left arm because he hears it is associated with a right-wing militia accused of racism in both the United States and Canada
Newie Patriots rookie place kicker Justin Rohrwasser has announced that he will remove a tattoo on his left arm because he hears it is associated with a right-wing militia accused of racism in both the United States and Canada.
The 23-year-old Marshall University product says he was 18 when he got the Three Percenters tattoo, which he says doesn’t represent who he is or his political beliefs.
“As soon as I saw what it was related to on Saturday, it was exactly the time I knew I had to completely remove it from my body,” Rohrwasser told Boston’s WBZ-TV on Monday after it was drafted by the patriots in the fifth round of last week’s NFL Draft. “I said cover it [to reporters]but I want to remove it from my body. It is embarrassing that I was ignorant. ‘
On its website, the right-wing Three Percenters group says it’s not an anti-government militia, but “we will defend when we need to.” The group takes its name from the false claim that three percent of American settlers fought in the Revolutionary War.
The group was formed in 2008 in response to Barrack Obama’s election as president, which raised some allegations of racism against the Three Percenters. Those allegations grew after the group provided security for the Unite the Right meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, where neo-Nazis along with other far-right organizations protested.
Ex-Marshall kicker Justin Rohrwasser depicted with the Three Percenters tattoo on his forearm
Washington Three Percenters leader Matt Marshall talks to supporters as hundreds of protesters gather around the Capitol Building in Olympia, Washington on April 19, 2020 to demonstrate against Governor Inslee’s residence permit in effect through May 4
Protesters at the event chanted ‘Jews won’t replace us’, waved ‘White Lives Matter’ flags and a neo-Nazi, James Alex Fields, drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters and killed a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer .
Although the Three Percenters have since distanced themselves from the Unite the Right meeting, the Southern Poverty Law Center still considers them an anti-government group. The group has also grown in Canada, where it has been described as an anti-Muslim militia.
“They are the most dangerous group at the moment,” said former Neo-Nazi activist Maxime Fiset CBC in 2018.
Rohrwasser said he should have investigated the group before getting the tattoo, which he said was a symbol of support for the military.
“It was described to me as the percentage of settlers who rebelled against the British government,” he said. “I was like,” Wow, that’s such an American sentiment, a patriotic sentiment. “
“Coming from a military family, I thought it really appealed to me. I was always proud to be an American. I am very proud to be an American. ‘
When asked if the tattoo was a problem during his time with Marshall, Rohrwasser said he had never heard of the ties between the Three Percenters and racist right-wing groups.
“No, never,” he said. “The first time I found out what the connection was with was on Saturday. That’s why it was so surprising.
“We were celebrating and hugging [on Saturday]he continued. ‘So happy. I went on to Twitter. I saw someone took a picture of me and added it to my tattoo and linked me to some horrific events – obviously Charlottesville and these horrible things. ‘
Rohrwasser then apologized to anyone who has since defended him after the revelation about the tattoo.
“I’m sorry for all my [friends] and family to defend me, “he said. “Putting them in that compromising position is one of the greatest regrets I will ever have. For them, I’m sorry, “he said. “I’m going to learn from this. I’m going to own it. This is not who I am. Whatever happens is not who I am. Hopefully you will all find out. ‘
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, the greenhorn said the tattoo did not represent his political views and was not intended to represent an association with the anti-government group, often accused of white supremacists.
“I got that tattoo when I was a teenager and I have a lot of family in the military and I thought it was a symbol of military support at the time,” he explained. “It has clearly evolved into something I don’t want to represent.”
According to their website, the group stands for “freedom, liberty and the constitution” and promises to be “the last defense protecting the citizens of the United States.” The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League described the Three Percenters as an extremist anti-government group.
In response to the unsavory links, Rohrwasser told reporters, “Looking back, I should have done a lot more research before applying any sign or symbol to my body.
“It’s not something I ever want to represent, so it will be treated,” he assured.
Rohrwasser has a number of other tattoos that read ‘Liberty or death’ and ‘Don’t tread on me’, Boston Tea Party’s famous catchphrase, with another reference to the Dave Matthews Band.
During an interview in 2019, Rohrwasser described his selection of tattoos as ‘random’.
Rohrwasser was in love with the Patriots as a replacement for their all-time greatest top scorer, Stephen Gostkowski, who was released last month.
Rohrwasser, from Clifton Park, New York, described himself as “a hard worker and someone who’s going to chase the best version of himself and a good teammate,” ESPN reported.
During his time with Marshall, the three-meter 230lbs miracle was named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2019 after converting 18 of 21 field goals to 53 yards in length, while achieving 35 of the 36 additional points .