New England Patriots rookie kicker Justin Rohrwasser said Monday in an interview with WBZ’s Steve Burton that he plans to remove a tattoo on his arm that sparked controversy after he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The tattoo is a symbol linked to The Three Percenters, a far-right militia movement and paramilitary group, with the Roman numeral III and 13 stars encircled around it. Rohrwasser told Burton he didn’t know what the logo symbolized until it was pointed out Saturday on social media.
“We were celebrating and hugging (Saturday) and so happy,” Rohrwasser told Burton. “I went on to Twitter. 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. …
“The first time I found out what it was linked to was on Saturday, and that’s why it was so surprising.”
Rohrwasser specified he was 18 years old when he got the tattoo.
“It was described to me as the percentage of colonists that rose up against the authoritarian government of the British,” Rohrwasser said. “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 told reporters Saturday in a conference call he would get the tattoo covered. He told Burton that he now will have the tattoo removed.
“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’ but I want to get it removed from my body. It’s shameful that I had it on there ignorantly.
“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 became emotional while apologizing to his friends and family.