Justin Rohrwasser plans to go one step further to distance himself from a tattoo he got when he was 18.
The rookie kicker out of Marshall, whom the New England Patriots took in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, told WBZ's Steve Burton he plans to remove a tattoo on his left arm paying homage to a right-wing paramilitary group called the Three Percenters.
"As soon as I saw what it was linked to Saturday, I knew I had to have it totally taken off of my body," Rohrwasser told Burton. "I said ‘covered up,’ but I want to get to totally removed from my body. It’s shameful that I had it on there ignorantly."
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Fans noticed Rohrwasser's tattoo on social media after the Patriots drafted him and pointed out the Three Percenters had a connection to the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. that left one person dead.
Rohrwasser told Burton he had a different understanding of the group when he got the tattoo at age 18.
"I saw someone posted a picture of me and my tattoo and linking me to some horrific events, obviously Charlottesville, and these horrible things,” Rohrwasser said. “The first time I found out what it was linked to was Saturday. That’s why it was so surprising.
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"... (The tattoo) was described to me as the percentage of colonists that rose up against the British. I thought that was such an American sentiment, a Patriotic sentiment. Coming from a military family, that really spoke to me. I always was proud to be an American."
Rohrwasser, a New York native who played at the University of Rhode Island before transferring to Marshall, said he now feels horrible for "the friends and family that had to defend me."
"Putting them in that compromising position is one of the biggest regrets I’ll ever have," he said. "To them I’m sorry. I’m going to learn from this. That’s not who I am. Hopefully you’ll all find that out."
Rohrwasser is set to replace Stephen Gostkowski, who had been the Patriots' kicker since 2006 before landing on injured reserve last season and being released this March.