Callous and gruesome Kurt Zouma’s actions leave West Ham with a huge problem


If the measure of a man’s character is how he treats his fellow man, then West Ham player Kurt Zouma is rotten to the core.

A video of Zouma abusing his cat, which emerged on Tuesday, is deeply disturbing and has rightly drawn revulsion and condemnation from a nation of animal lovers.

The footage, which should only be viewed with caution, shows Zouma kicking and slapping his pet cat and, in a separate video, throwing shoes at the Bengal and chasing him around the room. It was apparently filmed by his brother Yoan, who can be heard laughing, before being posted on Snapchat.

Behaving in this way towards a helpless animal is callous and gruesome in the extreme – as well as a potential red flag for even more disturbing behaviors.

The presence of a child in the video, believed to be Zouma’s, only adds to the eerie aspect of the footage. What kind of example does the 27-year-old set for his two young children?

Her brother’s decision to share the clip on social media doubles the disbelief and is almost as disturbing and silly as the abuse itself.

Are Zoumas really so cruel and disconnected from reality that they think it’s engaging content that would be widely appreciated?

Zouma and Yoan – a Dagenham and Redbridge player – both apologized, with the West Ham defender insisting it was “an isolated incident”.

Understanding a revolted public will be rare, especially since it’s hard to believe that a one-time incident was caught on camera and posted online.

Police and the RSPCA have launched a joint investigation, and getting her two cats back to a safe environment appears to be the minimum that should happen as soon as possible.

A significant donation to an animal welfare charity like the RSPCA would also be the least Zouma could do to start making amends.

Zouma’s actions suggest that he is not currently suited to occupy a privileged position or considered a role model, at least until he has completed an animal welfare training course, which should question his role at West Ham.

There have already been numerous calls for the harshest possible punishment from the club, including calls for him to be sacked.

In a statement to The Sun newspaper, which first published the footage, the club said: “West Ham United unreservedly condemn the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has been circulating.

“We have spoken to Kurt and will address the issue internally, but would like to make it clear that we do not condone animal cruelty in any way.”

The decision to start him in Tuesday’s home game against Watford, with manager David Moyes justifying the call by saying the Frenchman is one of their ‘best players’, barely suggests condemnation and sends an appalling message about the seriousness with which the club takes animal cruelty.

Zouma is, clearly, one of the most important players for the Hammers and their hopes of success on three fronts would be significantly undermined by the absence of the £30million signing.

But in starting him against the Hornets, West Ham’s decision makers showed a lack of moral fiber, seemingly turning a blind eye to disturbing behavior off the pitch when success on the pitch hangs in the balance.

Zouma clearly wouldn’t have started had he behaved the same way towards another person and, given the widespread strength of sentiment, West Ham have made a serious misstep.

The club are now rightly at risk of being tried alongside Zouma in the court of public opinion, having dragged themselves into a mess that was not initially their fault.

standard Sport

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