New England Patriots rookie kicker Justin Rohrwasser says a tattoo on his left arm is not meant to symbolize the markings of "The Three Percenters," a right-wing militia group that first formed in 2008, and that he plans to get it covered up.
The Patriots selected Rohrwasser on Saturday with the No. 159 overall pick in the fifth round of the NFL draft.
"I got that tattoo when I was a teenager and I have a lot of family in the military. I thought it stood for a military-support symbol at the time," Rohrwasser said during an introductory conference call with reporters. "Obviously, it's evolved into something that I do not want to represent. 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, and it's not something I ever want to represent. It will be covered."
On its website, the Three Percenters group says it isn't an anti-government militia but "we will defend ourselves when necessary.''
The 23-year-old Rohrwasser, who is from Clifton Park, New York, described himself to reporters as "a hard worker and somebody who is going to chase after the best version of themselves and a good teammate."
The Patriots are looking to replace all-time leading scorer Stephen Gostkowski after releasing him in March. Rohrwasser was the first kicker selected in the draft.
At Marshall, he was named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2019 after converting 18 of 21 field goals with a long of 53 yards, while going 35-of-36 extra points. Prior to transferring to Marshall, he attended the University of Rhode Island in 2015 and 2016, noting how the campus was buzzing during the Patriots' run to the Super Bowl championship in his final year there.
Rohrwasser said Patriots special-teams coach Cameron Achord attended his pro day in early March, and the two stayed in contact leading up to the draft. He also said the Patriots gave him a psychological test.
"That stood out to me, because I think that kicking, a lot of it is mental," he said. "The fact they were looking into that, and what my mental makeup was ... I think they put a lot of attention to who the player is as a person to figure out what kind of guy they're getting."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.