English soccer star Raheem Sterling is standing firm amid backlash over the tattoo of a M-16 on the side of his right calf.
Sterling is a midfielder for Manchester City.
He posted a photo of the tattoo to Instagram:
The Guardian reports that Lucy Cope, founder of London’s Mothers Against Guns, responded to the photo by demanding Sterling have the tattoo removed. Cope said, “We demand he has the tattoo lasered off or covered up with a different tattoo. If he refuses he should be dropped from the England team. He’s supposed to be a role model but chooses to glamorise guns.”
But Sterling explained that the tattoo goes beyond guns for him. He said, “When I was two my father died from being gunned down to death. I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun in my life time, I shoot with my right foot so it has a deeper meaning.”
The Football Association is standing with Sterling, saying, “We all support Raheem Sterling and acknowledge the honest and heartfelt account he gave via Instagram last night. He and the rest of the squad are focused solely on preparing for the forthcoming World Cup.”
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