New Patriots kicker Justin Rohrwasser says a tattoo on his arm is not representative of a loosely organized right-wing militia group that has adopted the symbol.
Rohrwasser, who played at Rhode Island and Marshall, was taken 159th overall in the fifth round of the draft Saturday.
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He said in a conference call with reporters that he got the tattoo as a teenager because he has a lot of family members in the military. He added he “thought it was a military support symbol at the time.”
“It evolved into something I do not want to represent,” he said. “It will be covered.”
On its website, the right-wing Three Percenters group says it isn’t an anti-government militia but “we will defend ourselves when necessary.”
The Three Percenters derived the name from the belief that just 3% of the colonists rose up to fight the British. They have vowed to resist any government that infringes on the U.S. Constitution.
According to an interview on Marshall’s Herdzone.com last year Rohrwasser described his tattoos, which include phrases like “Liberty or death” and “Don’t tread on me” as well as an American flag and one for the Dave Matthews Band, are “all random.”
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Rohrwasser was drafted as a replacement for Patriots all-time leading scorer Stephen Gostkowski, who was released last month. Gostkowski made the 2010s All-Decade team, is a two-time All-Pro and member of three of the Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning teams.
The Associated Press contributed to this article