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A kicker drafted in the fifth round by the New England Patriots sports an arm tattoo related to a right-wing militia. The symbol shows the number three in Roman numerals enclosed in a circle of stars.
No really, for real.
Shortly after being selected Saturday, Justin Rohrwasser spoke to reporters about the tattoo. The symbol, which is on his left forearm, shows the symbol of the Three Percenters. The stated goal of the group is to be “the last defense to protect the citizens of the United States if there ever comes a day when our government takes up arms against the American people.”
“Obviously it evolved into something that I do not want to represent,” the Marshall University standout said according to reports. “And 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. It’s not something that I ever want to represent. It will be covered.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Three Percenters are classified as an anti-government extremist group. Members of the militia also made their presence felt at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA. Three Percenters leaders subsequently issued a statement disavowing any alignment with white supremacist and Nazi groups.
Rohrwasser has military members in his family and thought the symbol reflected support for the military. He also has several other tattoos, including “Liberty or Death” and “Don’t tread on me.” The latter is the Gadsen flag, one of at least three kinds of flags created by independence-minded colonists in the run-up to the Revolutionary War.
Along the way, it picked up other connotations: harsh anti-government sentiment, often directed with particular vehemence at Barack Hussein Obama.
Rohrwasser said the Patriots had him take “a psychological test” as part of their pre-draft process.
“They put a lot of attention to who the player is as a person,” he said, “to figure out what kind of guy they’re getting.”
The native of Clifton Park, N.Y., stands at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds and earned the 2019 Conference USA special teams player of the year award.
The question is in an area well-known for its racial animus, New England and Boston especially, what kind of guy is New England getting? Is he the, “I just love America and anything that symbolizes that love” type? Or is he a wolf hiding in Patriots clothing landing in a hotbed of racial disparity.
Either way, in this day and age the Pats should have probably known better and regardless of his playing ability, it shows poor judgment and affiliation by both Rohrwasser and the Pats.
But hey, with Brady gone, perhaps all things are now a go.