In a video interview with a Boston TV network posted Tuesday morning, kicker Justin Rohrwasser said he would have a tattoo compared to the logo representing the right-wing militia group the Three Percenters removed from his left forearm instead of simply covering it up, as he had initially said in a conference call with media on Saturday.
The Clifton Park native and Catholic Central High School graduate, who played his senior season with the Holy Trinity football team in 2014, was drafted on the fifth round out of Marshall University by the New England Patriots.
He soon found himself in the middle of a social media storm for the tattoo, a circle of 13 stars around the Roman numeral III that symbolizes “a militia movement” and is “very popular among anti-government extremists,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Rohrwasser claimed that he got the tattoo as a nod to the U.S. military and that he was ignorant of the connection to a group that has been linked to events such as the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, car attack on a peaceful protest in which Heather Heyer was murdered.
“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 told Steve Burton of WBZ. “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.”