Premier League defender Kurt Zouma kicks, hits cat on video and social media lets him have it

WARNING: This story contains video & content which people may find disturbing

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma, one of the Hammers’ keys to the club’s push for a Champions League place this season, is in hot water after a video was posted that showed him abusing a cat.

The 27-year-old former Chelsea man was filmed attacking a Bengal cat with his brother Yoan present.

The video, originally shared by English tabloid The Sun, shows Zouma picking up the cat from another room and bringing it into the kitchen before drop-kicking the cat across the floor. He then throws shoes at the animal before later slapping it in the face.

The video appears to have originated on social media platform Snapchat, and the individual filming can be heard laughing throughout the series of short videos. In one video, the images include a caption with a series of laughing emojis.

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Zouma has since apologized for the incident, saying, “I want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video,” he 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.”

The Hammers defender could be punished both internally by West Ham and by Essex Police who are currently investigating the matter after receiving a referral from Surrey Police. 

“We have spoken to Kurt and will be dealing with the matter internally,” said West Ham in a statement, “but we would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals.”

However, West Ham manager David Moyes decided to start Zouma anyway, 24 hours after the release of the video and hours after his apology.

How has social media reacted to Kurt Zouma video?

Many well-known individuals have condemned the offensive behavior after seeing the disturbing video.

Most notably, the RSPCA issued a statement via a spokesman, who said, “This is a very upsetting video. It’s never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise.”

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The organization was unable to comment further due to the legal investigation into Zouma regarding the video.

Several others chimed in on social media with strong feelings in reaction to the video.

Many have added their signature to a petition calling for legal action to be taken against the West Ham defender.

Zouma’s status for the Feb. 8 Premier League match against Watford was thought to be in serious doubt, but the Frenchman was tabbed to start, despite the fact that the situation was “ongoing,” as West Ham manager David Moyes described the matter.

After starting Zouma in the Tuesday Premier League match, social media slammed Zouma and Moyes for sending the wrong message.

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