N.F.L. groups are generally criticized for drafting kickers, significantly in the event that they take them as early because the fifth spherical.
That didn’t deter the New England Patriots from deciding on Justin Rohrwasser, a kicker from Marshall, on Saturday with one in all their two fifth-round picks.
The selection was controversial for an additional cause: Rohrwasser has a tattoo on his arm with the emblem for the Three Percenters, a far-right militia group. The brand, which incorporates the Roman numeral III surrounded by 13 stars in a circle, has develop into in style amongst antigovernment extremists. Rohrwasser additionally has a tattoo of an American flag on his proper arm, and other tattoos that say “Liberty or Death” and “Don’t Tread on Me.”
The Three Percenters had been fashioned after President Barack Obama took workplace in 2009, and, according to the Anti-Defamation League, “view themselves as modern-day variations” of the colonists who fought the British throughout the Revolutionary Battle and are actually dedicated to combating what they view as a “tyrannical U.S. authorities.” Members of the group had been amongst these in Washington State protesting measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
According to their website, the Three Percenters are “patriotic residents” whose aim “is to make the most of the failsafes put in place by our founders to rein in an overreaching authorities and push again in opposition to tyranny.” The group claims that it’s “not a militia” and doesn’t “search to incite a revolution. Nonetheless, we’ll defend ourselves when essential.”
On a conference call with reporters after he was drafted, Rohrwasser, 23, mentioned he acquired the tattoo when he was a youngster as a solution to assist the navy. He mentioned he was unaware of what the Three Percenters stood for, and that he didn’t assist the group.
“Clearly, it’s developed into one thing that I don’t wish to characterize,” he mentioned. “Once I look again on it, I ought to have performed far more analysis earlier than I put any mark or image like that on my physique, and it’s not one thing that I ever wish to characterize. It is going to be coated.”
A Patriots spokesman declined to remark about Rohrwasser’s tattoos.
Rohrwasser, who’s from Clifton Park, N.Y., north of Albany, described himself as a “laborious employee and any person who’s going to chase after the best version of themself and a superb teammate.”
The Patriots drafted Rohrwasser to assist replace Stephen Gostkowski, their profession main scorer, who was launched in March. Rohrwasser, who went to the College of Rhode Island earlier than transferring to Marshall, was the primary kicker taken within the draft.
Requested why he selected Rohrwasser within the draft, Coach Invoice Belichick mentioned that he watched a number of video of his faculty video games and that he was impressed along with his skill to kick in unhealthy climate.