England footballer Raheem Sterling has defended his new skin icon of a gun, saying it has the “deeper meaning” and refers to their late father.
Anti-gun campaigners criticised the Manchester Town forward after he shared a photograph of himself with the tattoo of the M16 assault rifle on his lower-leg.
The image has been known as “totally unacceptable” and “sickening”.
But Sterling said this reflects a vow he designed to “never touch a gun” right after his father was shot lifeless when he was a boy.
Based on previous reports, Sterling’s father was killed in Kingston, Jamaica.
Sterling, twenty three, who will travel to Russia this summer included in England’s World Cup squad, very first revealed his tattoo in a photo published to Instagram associated with himself in training with team-mates at St George’s Park.
Lucy Cope, who founded team Mothers Against Guns after the girl son was shot dead this year, said Sterling should not play pertaining to England unless he gets rid of the particular tattoo.
Speaking to the Sun newspaper, she said: “This skin icon is disgusting. Raheem should suspend his head in shame. It’s actual totally unacceptable.
“We demand he has the tattoo lasered off or covered up with another tattoo.
“If he or she refuses he should be dropped in the England team. He’s supposed to be a task model but chooses to glamorise guns. ”
Sterling, who joined Town from Liverpool for £ 49m in July 2015, responded upon Instagram on Monday evening.
Former England player-turned-pundit Gary Lineker mentioned Sterling was “a terrific footballer with a brilliant function ethic”, and called the Sun’s remedying of him “disgusting”.
Many who tweeted their particular support highlighted the footballer’s discussion with fans at a training occasion at St George’s Park as well as other experiences of Sterling’s character.