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Sky Sports apologise for altering Raheem Sterling's gun tattoo explanation

By Stephen Barry

Sky Sports have apologised for an error in their coverage of Raheem Sterling's gun tattoo.

The broadcaster added the word "again" to Sterling's statement that he made a promise to "never touch a gun in my lifetime".

Sterling's father was shot dead in Kingston, Jamaica, when he was just two years old.

The story of Sterling's gun tattoo was carried on the front page of The Sun newspaper yesterday and again today. Both stories featured calls by relatives of those killed in gun violence for the England star to apologise for "glamourising guns".

The tabloid also linked a story about two stabbings in London to Sterling's gun tattoo.

[quote]"Two more teenagers were killed over the weekend as Sterling revealed his controversial gun tattoo," read the opening paragraph.[/quote]

The stories received a significant backlash online, especially as The Sun has previous with Sterling.

In their headlines, they have labelled him "obscene Raheem" after buying a sink for his mother, a "love rat" in a story about his proposal to his "long-suffering" girlfriend and a "footie idiot" in a profile of Sterling.

He has been criticised by other British papers both for flying easyJet and hiring a private jet, as well as for shopping in low-cost retailers Poundworld, Primark and Greggs and for buying expensive cars.

In a post on Instagram, Sterling explained the tattoo's "deeper meaning".

"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."

Sky changed that statement to read: "I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun again in my lifetime".

In a Twitter apology, Sky Sports News said: "Last night we made a mistake in our reporting of Raheem Sterling's statement on his tattoo.

"We apologise for this error and any distress it has caused Raheem and his family."

With Sterling preparing for the World Cup, the FA have backed their star winger.

"We all support Raheem Sterling and acknowledge the honest and heartfelt account he gave via Instagram last night," said a spokesperson.

"He and the rest of the squad are focused solely on preparing for the forthcoming World Cup."