Fans took to heavily taunt West Ham’s Kurt Zouma after David Moyes explains why he started him for the game against Watford on Tuesday night.
Zouma has been named in West Ham’s starting lineup to face the Hornets in the Premier League, but it’s angered the football world after sickening footage emerged of him abusing his cat.
The France international was seen kicking and slapping his cat around the kitchen in footage posted on his brother’s Snapchat account.
— Sassenach 🏴 (@ProSassenach) February 8, 2022
Zouma has since apologised for the video, claiming his cats are loved despite the abuse.
“I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone 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 behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again.”
West Ham have also commented on the actions of their player, saying: “West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated.
“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.”
— Ronald Morgan (@ronaldmorgan_) February 8, 2022
West Ham boss David Moyes has said Kurt Zouma has been selected tonight because he is one of their ‘better players’ and that the Hammers are continuing to deal with the incident surrounding the defender.
He told BT Sport: “He is one of our better players.
“But it is certainly ongoing and the club are dealing with it, so that is a separate matter.”
BT Sport pundit Joe Cole said: “Obviously you can’t condone that type of behaviour, but from West Ham’s point of view, they wanted to play their best team Kurt is in that, but they need time to deal with, find out how, I’m sure they will deal with it internally.
“I’m sure David thought he’s going to play him but you can’t condone that behaviour.”
Owen Hargreaves added: “I’m really surprised.
“I know he’s arguably their best centre-half but the situation and everything that’s happened, he may get fined a couple of weeks wages and miss a few games but no body knows how to deal with this, it’s such a bizarre situation, nobody condones what happened but I’m surprised he’s playing, I’d of thought he’d miss a few games and been fined but it’ll be interesting to hear what David Moyes has to say.”
David Moyes when asked if he considered not playing Kurt Zouma:
🗣 “No, because he is one of our better players. But it is certainly ongoing and the club are dealing with it, so that is a separate matter.” pic.twitter.com/NnE1oxqHqI
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) February 8, 2022
A number of talkSPORT pundits slammed Zouma, with Simon Jordan calling the incident ‘brainless’.
“This is the most absurd, ridiculous, puerile, cruel behaviour,” he said.
“The fact that it’s been filmed and put out on social media, even in the deepest darkest recesses of a stupid brainless mind would you think that’s something that you’d want to do.”
Chris Kirkland told the radio station he wouldn’t want to play with Zouma again.
“I wouldn’t [want to play with him] if I was in that dressing room,” Kirkland said.
“If I was captain, I would get him out of that dressing room and wouldn’t want to play with him again. Definitely not.
“This is just about what’s right in humanity, even if you’re not an animal lover. Seeing that sickened me.”
Ally McCoist said: “It was sickening, it was pathetic, it was bullying of the extreme. It again tarnished the image of professional footballers.
“It was embarrassing and shocking and horrible at the same time. It was all of those things.
“To commit and do the things he did is the most horrendous of crimes, however to film it and put it out.
“If you are talking about gross stupidity, I don’t know what level you are talking about there.”
“What sort of a person are you to do something like that!?”
“How can you treat a living creature like that? And in front of your kids!”
“I dread to think what the kids watching him think is acceptable.”
Laura Woods hits out at Kurt Zouma for mistreating a cat. pic.twitter.com/ylZfRStKmI
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) February 8, 2022
Laura Woods was angered with Zouma’s apology and was shocked by the way he was performing to the camera.
“For me, you got caught,” Woods said. “It’s not even that you just got caught, someone filmed you surreptitiously.
“Your mate or your brother, or whoever it was has filmed you and you are performing to the camera, thinking it is okay to act like that and treat a cat like that or any living creature like that. In front of your kid as well, by the way.
“What sort of a person are you when you do that to begin with? Secondly, what sort of person are you when you know it is being filmed, think it is funny to perform and then probably know it is going out on social media.
“I think there are some serious issues with that person.
“I don’t know how it’s going to dealt with now. For him to be doing that and to be filmed, he’s probably done it before.
“I just dread to think what the kids watching him think is acceptable. I dread to think what kids on social media then will look and think it is ok to do to their kids in their house.”