And with the 159th pick in the 2020 NFL draft’s fifth round, the New England Patriots select...the right-wing, paramilitary-supporting kicker from Marshall.
On Saturday, the Tom Brady-less team from the same town that brought you Aaron Hernandez, the gang-affiliated double-murderer from Florida, drafted Justin Rohrwasser, a heralded kicker whose left arm just happens to display the insignia of the Three Percenters, one of the right-wing paramilitary groups that The Root has referred to as “Y’all Queda.”
As soon as the Patriots’ Trump-supporting coach and owner gave Rohrwasser the nod, Resist Programming noticed that the draftee’s social media history seemed to show an affinity for far-right zealots like Jordan Peterson, an opponent of transgender pronouns and the feminization of men.
But it was the 23-year-old’s Three Percenter tattoo that raised the most eyebrows. Although Rohrwasser claims he got the tattoo when he was a teenager, he didn’t have it in high school. It also doesn’t appear in photos when he played at the University of Rhode Island in 2015.
Make no mistake about it, the III percent is a gang.
Maxime Fiset, a former neo-Nazi who works with the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence in Montreal, called Three Percenters “the most dangerous group in Canada.” They provided security for neo-Nazis at the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. In 2019, a jury convicted Jeremy Drake Varnell of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction to blow up an Oklahoma City building after Varnell admitted that he subscribed to “III% ideology,” according to the Associated Press.
As we previously reported:
Founded by another “patriot” named Mike Vanderboegh, the Three Percent movement stems from its belief that the American Revolution was won by an army composed of 3 percent of the population, which, according to this liberal ideology called “numbers,” is pretty wrong. (The number was closer to 15 percent, but perhaps they forgot to carry the 1 when they were doing the math. Hey, it involves both algebra and fractions, so don’t laugh.)
Unlike the Oath Keepers, anyone can simply declare him- or herself a Three Percenter, although the group does have meetings on a local level, according to its website. It was surprisingly also founded immediately after Obama was elected, in Alabama, of all places (I actually heard your brain say, “Seems about right”).
Like the Oath Keepers who showed up in Ferguson, Three Percenters are famous for descending on the Bundy ranch in Nevada, but used money donated by supporters to bail out other Threepers to buy iTunes music, car washes and food. They are the same people who also occupied an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016, an occupation that ended after a shootout when the mighty Three Percenters umm ... well ... kinda just gave up because standoffs are kinda hard.
So what was Rohrwasser’s excuse?
“I got that tattoo when I was a teenager and I have a lot of family in the military,” Rohrwasser told reporters during an introductory press conference. “I thought it stood for a military-support symbol at the time. 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.”
Of course, the NFL is known for highlighting the pasts of its darker-skinned draftees. In 2016, projected No. 1 overall pick Laremy Tunsil lost millions when a video of him smoking marijuana through a gas mask caused his draft stock to tumble to the 13th pick. Wide receiver Desean Jackson’s career has been plagued by rumors of gang affiliations. Since he joined the NFL, he has been arrested for…Hold on, let me check his extensive rap sheet...Jackson has been arrested a grand total of zero times. And then there’s the revealing photo of how the NFL treated Rohrwasser’s fellow draft class members
But Rohrwasser is different, see. He didn’t know that he was gang-affiliated.
And finally, he’s a real Patriot.