Raheem Sterling has fiercely defended his decision to have the likeness of a gun tattooed on his leg.
The 23-year-old's new body art is highlighted on the front page of Tuesday's edition of The Sun with anti-gun campaigners furious at what they see as the Manchester City star glamourising the use of firearms.
“This tattoo is disgusting," Lucy Cope of Mothers Againts Guns told the newspaper. “Raheem should hang his head in shame. It’s totally unacceptable.
“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."
But the England forward, who is currently training with the rest of his teammates ahead of the World Cup in Russia, offered an impassioned response on Instagram.
"When I was 2 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 N still unfinished," he posted.
On Sunday the former Liverpool player posted a picture of himself training with his England team-mates at St George's Park, with a tattoo of an assault rifle on his right calf clearly visible.
Alongside the image Sterling wrote: "When you're training and realised you ain't post on the gram in couple days."
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies