West Ham United defender, Kurt Zouma has apologized for maltreating his domesticated cat in controversial footage that surfaced online recently.
The 27-year-old French defender was seen in a video clip kicking the domesticated cat across his kitchen floor which generated public outcry against him.
Aside from that, The Sun reported that the footballer was seen slapping the cat in the face before he continued to maltreat the cat on the floor.
More so, the footballer was seen chasing after the cat around the house in the presence of a child while a man’s voice behind the camera was heard laughing.
The Frenchman went as far as picking up the cat, dropping it, and then kicking it in the air to the admiration of the man behind the camera.
🚨🚨|BREAKING: Video obtained by The Sun shows West Ham United star Kurt Zouma repeatedly kicking his cat across the floor like a football 👇👇[GRAPHIC] pic.twitter.com/Bq2oH6Eaiz— Politics UK (@PoliticsForUK) February 7, 2022
Reports claimed that Kurt Zouma’s brother, Yoan, who lives with the footballer, filmed the incident in the footballer’s house and uploaded the clip on Snapchat. He shared the clip a day after West Ham United beat Kidminster in an FA Cup 4th round match.
After the report of the incident had gone viral, Animal welfare charity the RSPCA issued a statement to describe the clip as “very upsetting”.
“This is a very upsetting video. It’s never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise,” the statement.
“We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.”
While a statement from West Ham United condemned the action of Kurt Zouma who joined the Premier League club from Chelsea last summer for a transfer fee worth €35 million.
“West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated”, the club’s statement read.
“We have spoken to Kurt and will be dealing with the matter internally, but we would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals.”
On his part, Kurt Zouma who has played 15 times and scored a goal in all competitions for West Ham so far this season, issued a statement to say he was deeply sorry for how he treated the cat.
“I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video,” the French footballer said. “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 behavior was an isolated incident that will not happen again.”
It might interest you to note that animal abusers in the United Kingdom could be jailed for five years under a new bill passed in UK Parliament in 2021. At the time of publishing this report, it has not been confirmed whether any legal actions have been taken against Kurt Zouma.