NFL draftee Justin Rohrwasser says he plans to remove his controversial arm tattoo, which is associated with a right-wing militia group called "The Three Percenters," after experiencing a wildfire of backlash online.
He has been accused numerous times of being a white supremacist for the three marks emblazoned on his left forearm.
Rohrwasser, who has been drafted as a punter for the Patriots, told WBZ-TV in Boston on Monday that the tattoo doesn't represent who he is.
The 23-year-old says he was 18 when he got the tattoo. He initially said he would get the tattoo covered.
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"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 said. "I said cover it up [to reporters], but I want to get it removed from my body. It's shameful that I had it on there ignorantly.
"It was described to me as the percentage of colonists that rose up against the government of the British," he added. "I was like, 'Wow, that is such an American sentiment, a patriotic sentiment.' Coming from a military family, I thought that really spoke to me. I always was proud to be an American. I'm very proud to be an American."
Rohrwasser shed a tear apologising to his family for dragging them through the mess and forcing them to defend his character on the national stage.
"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," the Clifton Park, New York, native said. "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."