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Kurt Zouma, a French footballer who plays in the English Premier League, is facing a series of consequences following the release of disturbing video footage which shows him abusing animals.
In the short clip, which has been shared multiple times on Twitter and other social media, Zouma can be seen first picking up then kicking a cat, throwing shoes at it and punching it in the face, while laughing. the background. The clip was first posted by Zouma’s brother on Snapchat on Sunday, according to The sunwho first reported the footage earlier this week.
Following the release of the video, Zouma, who plays for Premier League club West Ham United, issued an apology and assured the public that there was “no excuse” for what he had done, according to a press release sent to several media. .
“I also want to say how sorry I am to everyone who was upset by the video,” Zouma 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.”
In a statement Meanwhile, West Ham United have confirmed the club and Zouma are both cooperating with an investigation by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), a UK-based animal welfare charity. The club gave Zouma the maximum penalty – more than $338,000, according to NBC Sports – and the player and West Ham have agreed that the funds will be donated to animal welfare charities. Zouma has also handed over his family’s two cats to the RSPCA for assessment.
“Kurt is extremely remorseful and, like everyone at the club, fully understands the depth of feelings surrounding the incident and the need for action,” the club said.
Fans demand action as video spreads
Following the video’s release online, many people began tagging the RSPCA’s Twitter account, prompting a response from the organization, which confirmed that he was investigating the incident and doing so even before the clip “went viral”. In the meantime, the two cats are in the custody of the RSPCA, the organization said.
“We are a charity, but we must act in the same way as the police in the way we investigate any matter, following proper legal procedures,” the RSPCA said in a separate statement. statement. “Investigations don’t happen overnight and there’s often work going on behind the scenes that we’re not able to tell people about.”
The consequences for Zouma were swift. In a statement to NPR, Adidas confirmed that it ended its sponsorship of Zouma after the video surfaced and its own investigation.
Vitality, a UK-based insurance and investment firm, said in a statement on Twitter that Zouma’s video left the company “distressed”. The firm later suspended its sponsorship of the team, citing not only Zouma’s behavior but the “judgement” shown by the club.
Vitality’s statement may refer to the team’s decision to make Zouma a starter in his first match after the video was released. This decision led to further criticism of the team, as well as other consequences. Check out Kissimmee, another West Ham United sponsor, called Zouma’s place in the starting line “disheartening” in a statement shared via Twitter and said he would assess his relationship with the team.