Kurt Zouma Fined And Dropped From West Ham Over Cat Kicking
French footballer Kurt Zouma has been dropped by West Ham over a video of him kicking a cat.
The 27-year-old received backlash after footage emerged of him attacking his pet at his mansion in Essex, where he appeared to slap one of his two cats out of a child's hands and kick it like a football.
Zouma issued an apology after the footage was shared by his brother, Yoan, on Snapchat, and West Ham responded to the backlash to say it would be 'dealing with the matter internally'.
In a statement cited by Sky News, the team added: 'We would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals.'
Per The Sun, Zouma has now been hit by a fine of £250,000, which equates to just two weeks' wages. He has also been axed from the squad for the next game, though West Ham manager David Moyes still named the defender in the club's starting 11 yesterday, February 8.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was 'disappointed' in Moyes' decision to include Zouma in yesterday's game, telling Sky News: 'It's despicable. I think a number of things need to happen urgently. I think the RSPCA and the police need to work together to prosecute this player. I'm disappointed in David Moyes and West Ham. I know how important three points are, but I think they should have shown leadership and dropped him last night.'
The widely shared footage prompted the creation of a Change.org petition calling for the prosecution of 'the perpetrators of this heinous act' and urging the RSPCA to 'remove all animals from Zouma's 'care' immediately'.
On Tuesday, Essex Police confirmed it was aware of the video 'relating to an incident involving a cat which members of our communities may find distressing.'
It added: 'We have recently been made aware that this incident may have taken place in Essex and we are liaising with the RSPCA and urgent enquiries are ongoing.'
Following the initial news of an investigation, sources familiar with the case have reportedly suggested police are set to hand the case over to the RSPCA, The Sun reports.
The RSPCA has assured it is investigating, explaining in a statement: 'We cannot comment further at this time but we’re grateful to everyone who has brought this to our attention.'
The organisation said it has received a lot of messages and encouraged people to only contact its national cruelty line if they have 'new or first-hand information.'
If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice
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