Sterling had initially shared a picture of his new tattoo on Monday as England prepare for this weekend's clash with Nigeria.
Manchester City winger Sterling, who won the Premier League with his club side last season, then signed off with the cryptic message: "N still unfinished".
English soccer star Raheem Sterling is facing an onslaught of backlash from fans and the media for an assault rifle tattoo on his right leg - and he is standing by it. "Raheem should hang his head in shame".
Sterling responded via Instagram, saying that the tattoo is a reference to his father's death and his commitment to never touch a gun.
"We demand he has the tattoo lasered off or covered up with a different tattoo", she said.
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But the former Liverpool player, who is among five England strikers heading to Russian Federation for the World Cup, uploaded an Instagram post saying his new ink has a "deeper meaning".
In a post on Instagram, the 23-year-old alluded to the tattoo having a "deeper meaning".
But some sought to defend Sterling, claiming he was unfairly attacked by the press. If he refuses he should be dropped from the England team. "He's supposed to be a role model but chooses to glamorise guns", Ms Cope told the newspaper.
England kick off their campaign against Tunisia on June 18 before games against Panama and Belgium in Group G.