New England Patriots fifth-round draft pick Justin Rohrwasser told reporters Saturday that he would cover up a tattoo of a symbol associated with a right-wing militia group on his arm. The former Marshall kicker added that it was not meant to represent an association with that group.
The tattoo caught the attention of some on Twitter after Rohrwasser was picked as a potential replacement for long-time specialist Stephen Gostkowski, when a graphic featuring the prospect prominently displayed all the ink on his arm.
According to ESPN, Rohrwasser gave the following statement in a conference call with reporters.
"I got that tattoo when I was a teenager and I have a lot of family in the military. I thought it stood for a military-support symbol at the time," Rohrwasser said during an introductory conference call with reporters. "Obviously, it's evolved into something that I do not want to represent. When I look back on it, I should have done way more research before I put any mark or symbol like that on my body, and it's not something I ever want to represent. It will be covered."
A review of Rohrwasser's Instagram page shows that the tattoo has been on the kicker's arm since late 2015, and since he's 23 now, he was at most 19 years old when that photo was posted -- thus corroborating his claim of getting the ink as a teenager. The ex-Marshall player also has tattoos featuring American iconography including an American flag, and the phrases "Liberty or Death" and "Don't tread on me."
The Three Percenters group -- a right-wing militia named after the roughly 3 percent of colonists who took up arms against the British -- was founded in 2008. The group pushes back on the anti-government label, but says "we will defend ourselves when necessary" and resist what they perceive to be government infringement on the constitution.
Rohrwasser was named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2019 after converting 18 of 21 field goals with a long of 53 yards, while going 35 of 36 on extra points.