One of the newest members of the New England Patriots is looking to put a permanent end to the controversy that erupted around him over the weekend.
Justin Rohrwasser, a kicker from Marshall selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft Saturday, said in an interview posted late Monday by CBS Boston (WBZ-TV) that he was not aware of the meaning behind his "Three Percenters" tattoo and that he plans to permanently remove it from his arm.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League classifies the Three Percenters as an "anti-government" organization. In a statement on its website, the right-wing group says it exists "to reign in an overreaching government and push back against tyranny," adding that it is not a militia and not anti-government.
"The first time I found out what it was linked to was Saturday," Rohrwasser, 23, said of the tattoo he got when he was 18 on his left arm, which shows Roman numerals III surrounded by stars.
Justin Rohrwasser (16) says he's looking to permanently remove his Three Percenters tattoo. (Photo: Sholten Singer, AP)
"As soon as I saw what it was linked to on Saturday, at exactly that time I knew I had to get it totally taken off my body. 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 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, and I'm going to learn from this. I'm going to take ownership of it… No matter what, that's not who I am and hopefully you all will find that out."
Rohrwasser will have the opportunity to serve as the replacement for the franchise's all-time leading scorer in Stephen Gostkowski, who was released by the Patriots in March.
Contributing: Steve Gardner
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