The former England striker showed off his new ink on Instagram (above) - a gun, a grenade, a flick-knife and a machine gun down the side of his torso.
Together, when looked at from the right angle, they spell out the word love.
The meaning, Bothroyd explained, is that "you have to fight for love.... More than anything it's artistic."
But if Bothroyd was hoping to inspire with his message, he soon found he was the subject of a backlash.
Amongst those to voice their displeasure with the tattoo was Richard Taylor, whose ten-year-old son Damilola was murdered in south London in 2000.
"This tattoo is outrageous and an insult to victims' families," said Taylor, now an anti-violence campaigner.
"Jay Bothroyd is supposed to be a role model to young people but he should be ashamed of his actions. He must immediately apologise for the offence caused."
Bothroyd has since removed the picture from his Instagram account, but removing the tattoo might be trickier.
- Jay Bothroyd