West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has been fined a sum of 250,000 euros, had his Adidas deal canceled. He could also face up to 4 years in jail after he was filmed kicking and slapping his pet cat. Kurt Zouma is a French professional footballer who plays as a center-back for the Premier League club West Ham and plays for the France national team. Zouma began his football career at Saint-Etienne, making his debut professionally at the age of 16 years.
A disturbing video emerged of the 27 year old Zouma hitting, kicking and dropping his pet cat across his kitchen floor on Monday. Zouma issued an apology about the act but Essex police confirmed affirmed that investigations are ongoing to establish the truth in concert with RSPCA. West Ham has fined the player two weeks wages amounting to 250,000 euros which will be granted to animal welfare charities while Adidas have also dropped the deal with the player as the client.
The animal rights group in France(30 Million Friends Foundation) have condemned the act and called on for the suspension of the player from the national team. West Ham team-mate Michail Antonio when asked about his reaction concerning Zouma’s act said “I’ve got a question for you. Do you think what he’s done is worse than racism?”
West Ham's Michail Antonio has questioned the reaction to Kurt Zouma kicking his cat, asking if it's worse than players convicted of racism. pic.twitter.com/QchAIeXOsT— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 10, 2022
“I’m not condoning a thing that he’s done. I don’t agree with what he has done at all. But there’s people that have been convicted and been caught for racism, and have played football afterwards. They got an eight-game punishment or something like that, but people are now calling for people to be sacked and to lose their livelihood. I’ve just got to ask this question to everyone out there: is what he’s (Zouma) done worse than what the people convicted of racism done?”
West Ham condemned Zouma’s actions initially after the video emerged but the manager David Moyes had defended the decision to play Zouma. Moyes said the player will be available for playing selection while the club does investigation on the matter. RSPCA spokesperson said their priority is and has always been the wellbeing of the cats.
“They’ve been taken for a check-up at a vets and then will remain in our care while the investigation continues.
“We’re grateful to everyone who expressed their concern for these cats. We were dealing with this issue before the video went viral online and are leading the investigation.
“We continue to investigate so we cannot comment further at this time.” RSPCA spokesperson added.
West Ham confirmed the club continues to support RSPCA investigation.
Adidas confirmed the the player is no longer associated with the company after investigating the incident internally. According to Adidas company ; “We have concluded our investigation and can confirm Kurt Zouma is no longer an Adidas contracted athlete.” Earlier on the Adidas company had said in their statement “No animal should be subject to cruel and unwarranted abuse.”
Also West Ham’s wellness partner, Vitality, has immediately suspend club sponsorship with immediate effect. Vitality statement read ; “We were very distressed by the video we have seen of Kurt Zouma. At Vitality, we condemn animal cruelty and violence of any kind,”
“We are hugely disappointed by the judgement subsequently shown by the club in response to this incident. As such, we are suspending our sponsorship of West Ham United with immediate effect. We will now be further engaging with the club to understand what actions they will be taking to address the situation.”
Experience Kissimmee, one of the club’s sponsors has ended its sponsorship as well.
Experience Kissimmee announced today that it has ended its sponsorship of West Ham United Football Club.— Experience Kissimmee (@Kissimmee) February 9, 2022
The sponsor condemned the actions of Kurt Zouma in its strongest terms possible as they do not condone animal cruelty. Zouma issued an apology explaining how he is deeply sorry for the “heinous act”.
He said “I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video, I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy. They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again.”
West Ham club has admitted the incident and they will deal with the matter internally but they maintained they do not condone animal cruelty.