Raheem Sterling, award winning professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the English national team, has infuriated anti-gun activists by unveiling the tattoo of an M16 assault rifle on his right leg.
M16 assault rifles are used by the United States military, so to many pro Second Amendment Americans the sight of such a tattoo might conjure the positive image of a soldier defending his country for freedom. To those in the UK, however, even the tattoo of a gun can be met with fear and outrage since guns are banned and generally presented in only the most negative ways possible. Guns are so despised in the UK that even most police do not carry them.
Sterling, a 23-year-old professing Christian who was born in Jamaica, explained that when he was two-years-old his father died from being gunned down.
“I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun in my life. I shoot with my right foot so it has a deeper meaning,” he said.
Lucy Cope, 63-year-old activist for Mothers Against Guns, called the tattoo “sickening” and “disgusting” and said that Sterling should hang his head in shame.
“We demand he has the tattoo lasered off or covered up with a different tattoo,” Cope said. “If he refuses he should be dropped from the England team.”