A United Kingdom issuance company, Vitality, and a destination company, Experience Kissimmee have suspended their partnership with West Ham United after the club’s defender Kurt Zouma slapped and kicked his cat.
Recall that earlier in the week, a video surfaced on the internet showing the former Chelsea defender kicking and slapping his domesticated cat.
A video obtained by The Sun allegedly shows footballer Kurt Zouma kicking and hitting his cat.— Emily Hewertson 🇬🇧 (@emilyhewertson) February 7, 2022
It’s absolutely disgusting and disturbing footage. I hope he is prosecuted for animal cruelty. pic.twitter.com/3K7xMeHh5j
Even though the video generated a series of backlash against the player, the coach of the club, David Moyes decided to feature the player in the club’s 1-0 win over Watford on Tuesday.
Despite the coach’s explanation, the decision to play an animal abuser like Kurt Zouma infuriated people right from the stands of the stadium to the business world.
The vitality insurance company was first among many that came out with a blunt response to Kurt Zouma’s assault on his cat. A statement the company released recently described the way the club has been handling the scandal as a “huge disappointment”.
Hence, the company announced the suspension of its partnership with the club, adding that the company would continue to engage with the club to see the action the club would take to address the situation.
“We were very distressed by the video we have seen of Kurt Zouma”, the company said. “At Vitality, we condemn animal cruelty and violence of any kind.
“We are hugely disappointed by the judgment subsequently shown by the club in response to this incident and as such, we are suspending our sponsorship of West Ham with immediate effect.
“We will now be further engaging with the club to understand what actions they will be taking to address the situation.”
In the same vein, Experience Kissimmee has announced the immediate termination of the partnership with West Ham United over Kurt Zouma’s assault on his cat.
DT Minich, Experience Kissimmee president and CEO said in a statement issued on Wednesday that the company is only committed to working with institutions that are committed to animal care.
The statement read: “Due to recent events, Experience Kissimmee has made the decision to part ways with West Ham and end our sponsorship of the team.
“As an organization and community, we welcome visitors and locals alike to join us in celebrating wildlife and nature, now and always. We are proud to work with partners who are accredited, certified, and regulated to the highest standards of animal care.”
Experience Kissimmee announced today that it has ended its sponsorship of West Ham United Football Club.— Experience Kissimmee (@Kissimmee) February 9, 2022
Meanwhile, companies like Umbro and Heineken UK, have issued a statement to condemn the assault Kurt Zouma rained on his cat but stressed that their deals with the club are centered on the club, not on individual players.
Hence, the commercial staff at the club would be busy trying to win back other companies that have decided to cut ties with the club over Kurt Zouma’s assault on his cat.
Meanwhile, Zouma has been fined £250,000 by West Ham and is under investigation by the RSPCA, who have taken his two pet cats into custody.
Update on viral footage of cats— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) February 9, 2022
We'd like to reassure people that we're investigating and the cats are safe and in our care. We have been dealing with this since before the clip went viral online and we need to follow the proper legal process and not discuss due to UK GDPR laws. pic.twitter.com/LticInSmpn
A statement from the Premier League club read: “West Ham United can confirm that Kurt Zouma has been fined the maximum amount possible following his actions in the video that circulated./The player has immediately accepted the fine, which will be donated to animal welfare charities.
“West Ham United would like to reiterate our condemnation of Kurt’s actions and make it clear that the matter continues to be handled with the utmost seriousness. However, we believe it is now important to allow the RSPCA to conduct their investigation in a fair and thorough manner, and will be making no further comment at this stage.”