Kurt Zouma has apologized after a terrible video of him kicking and slapping a cat leaked online, with his club openly rejecting the film and committing to deal with the problem.
In the distressing film, Zouma is seen dropping, kicking, and slapping the animal, as background laughter can be heard.
The 27-year-old then pursues the cat and slaps its head with a pair of sneakers.
As a cat owner, Kurt Zouma’s abuse of his pet has made me feel physically sick tonight.
How could someone treat their animal like this for sport and cheap laughs?
He must never own a cat again. pic.twitter.com/tV905qI6pR
— Dan Wootton (@danwootton) February 7, 2022
West Ham have sharply denounced Zouma’s behavior in a national tabloid newspaper, publishing a statement in response to the clip’s publication.
“West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated,” West Ham said in a statement.
“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.”
Zouma has also released a statement, apologizing and he told the papers: “I want to apologize 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.”
The frightening clip was captured by Zouma’s brother Yoan and shared on Snapchat on Sunday afternoon – only one day after the center-back featured for West Ham in the FA Cup, when the Hammers required an extra-time winner to defeat sixth-tier Kidderminster.