Raheem Sterling says his controversial tattoo of a gun is partly a tribute to his father, who was killed when he was only two years old.
Pre-World Cup controversy for Sterling
The Manchester City winger was criticised by some social media users and anti-gun campaigners after he was seen with an assault rifle inked on his leg during England training on Monday.
The 23-year-old moved to calm the backlash on his official Instagram page, though, explaining there is a "deeper meaning" behind the tattoo.
He also underlined his vow to "never touch a gun" following the loss of his father, who was shot dead.
"When I was two my father died from being gunned down to death," he wrote.
"I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun in my lifetime.
"I shoot with my right foot so it has a deeper meaning." He added the tattoo was "still unfinished".
Sterling's father was reportedly killed outside the family home in Kingston, Jamaica.