Kurt Zouma sparked outrage after a video emerged of him kicking and slapping his cat.
Professional footballer Kurt Zouma is facing police investigation after a ‘disgusting’ video of him striking his pet cat emerged online.
The video was ironically filmed by the player’s brother Yoan (a National league player) and could be heard laughing in the background.
The viral clip shows the 27-year-old Premier League player booting his Bengal cat like a football across his kitchen floor.
The sickening footage also shows Zouma chasing the animal before slapping it out of a child’s arms.
According to reports, Zouma was said to have been angered because the cat caused a mess inside his house.
Warning: viewer descretion adviced
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
The video has sent social media into meltdown, and the Frenchman has been condemned by West Ham United, his employer, as well as the RSPCA and other animal welfare groups.
While the Metropolitan Police will not be investigating the matter, both West Ham and Essex Police confirmed the matter is under investigation and indicated that Zouma could face ramifications from his employer and law enforcement.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which has the power to prosecute, has suggested it could investigate the matter, although the organization has been tight-lipped about the proceedings.
“This is a very upsetting video,” a RSPCA spokesperson said.
“It’s never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise. 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.”
A statement from Essex Police read: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media relating to an incident involving a cat, which members of our communities may find distressing.
“We have recently been made aware that this incident may have taken place in Essex and we are liaising with the RSPCA.
“Urgent enquiries are ongoing.”
If Zouma is convicted of animal cruelty he could face up to five years in jail and an unlimited fine.
After the clip started making rounds, West Ham released a statement to ‘unreservedly condemn’ Zouma’s actions.
It added that the matter would be dealt with internally whilst making it clear ‘that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals’.
However, the club didn’t drop the player and Zouma played in West Ham’s starting line-up against Watford.
Meanwhile, Zouma’s kit provider Adidas have launched their own internal investigation.
The kit manufacturer, in a statement to Standard Sport, said: “We are aware of a deeply upsetting video circulating online. No animal should be subject to cruel and unwarranted abuse, and we are investigating the incident internally.”
Social media users including celebrities, fans and cat lovers took to Twitter to condemn Zouma’s incorrigible actions.
BBC Sports broadcaster Gabby Logan tweeted: “I think I would probably get rid of a player who kicked and hit an animal for ‘laughs’ in his kitchen. All in front of his child.”
Another commented: “Disgusting behaviour. Imagine what we haven’t seen? People who treat animals that way deserve serious consequences… An apology and a slap on the wrist is not enough”.
Chris Kirkland, a former Liverpool and England goalkeeper, called for Zouma’s sacking.
He told talkSPORT: “Kurt Zouma has got to be sacked. If I was West Ham captain, I’d want to get Zouma out of the dressing room.”
Zouma has since issued a public apology.
In a grovelling statement, he said: “I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret.
“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.”
However, public fury seems unabated. A petition calling on the RSPCA to take action has now been launched. The Change.Org petition has already been signed more than 70,000 times.
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