UK Footballer Who Abused Cat Gets Ridiculed By Fans, Dropped By Sponsors

Kurt Zouma’s cat is getting the last laugh.

Zouma and his brother thought they were being clever and funny when they uploaded a video showing the professional soccer player drop-kicking the poor kitty, throwing a shoe at it and slapping it in the face while Zouma’s child held the terrified pet.

The UK Sun ran a story about the video, which the Zouma brothers uploaded to Snapchat. The story went viral this week and Zouma has taken an enormous hit to his wallet and reputation.

Zouma’s club, West Ham United, fined the footballer £250,000, which works out to about $338,00, or 20 percent of his yearly salary. In a statement the club said it was the maximum amount it could fine one of its players.

Zouma’s primary sponsor, Adidas, has dropped him, while insurance company Vitality dropped its sponsorship of the entire club and other sponsors may follow.

And on Tuesday night in his first game since the scandal, Zouma was roasted by fans who showed up to watch West Ham play Watford at London Stadium. The rowdy crowd jeered every time Zouma touched the ball.

“Kurt Zouma, he plays at centre-back, he kicks his f—ing cat!” the fans chanted.

Finally, in a scene that played out like a divine condemnation of Zouma’s treatment of his kitty, a confused stray cat bolted onto the field and interrupted play during Tuesday night’s match between English League teams Wigan and Sheffield. Fans cheered as Wigan’s Jason Kerr carefully picked up the freaked-out feline and carried her off the field, risking a penalty for leaving the playing area during the game.

The British press didn’t miss the opportunity to contrast how the two football pros treated felines.

Scotsman Jason Kerr of Wigan gently scoops up Topsey, a house cat who interrupted play on Tuesday night.

Team staff brought the tortoiseshell to a veterinarian who treated her for injuries, scanned for a microchip, and found she belonged to a family in Wirral, a town in northwest England.

The cat’s name is Topsey and she’d been missing for eight months. Alison Jubb, Topsey’s human, said she was going on vacation and was bringing Topsey to a cattery when the cat got scared and bolted out of her carrier. That was the last she heard of Topsey until late Tuesday night.

“My daughter-in-law rang me last night as they were watching the match and said there was a cat on the football pitch” who resembled Topsey, Jubb told the BBC. “I sort of laughed it off.”

But Jubb said she was no longer laughing when she received a call from a veterinarian telling her Topsey had been brought in by Wigan Athletic staff. Topsey was given pain medication and is under treatment for bite wounds, possibly from a dog, to her neck, per the BBC.

Topsey was reunited with her humans, while Zouma voluntarily surrendered his abused cat and his second kitty to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

A still from the Snapchat video showing Zouma just before he drop-kicked the kitty while his other cat cowers on the floor.

The sequence of events restored some hope to animal lovers in the UK, who were dismayed when police said they would not charge Zouma for lack of evidence, despite the video clips and Zouma’s admission that he abused his cat.

However, Zouma’s legal troubles aren’t over. The 27-year-old is a French national and could face charges in his home country, where the public was outraged by his behavior and embarrassed that a high-profile Frenchman would harm an animal.

Zouma has been condemned by French politicians and there are calls to remove him from the French national team.

In the meantime, the RSPCA is conducting its own inquiry into the abuse incidents.

“We’re investigating and the cats are safe and in our care,” the group said in a statement. “We have been dealing with this since before the clip went viral online and we need to follow the proper legal process and not discuss due to UK GDPR laws.”

18 thoughts on “UK Footballer Who Abused Cat Gets Ridiculed By Fans, Dropped By Sponsors”

  1. Though I don’t believe the whole West Ham team should lose support, I am glad that public opinion is throwing the book (not the cat!) at Kurt Kouma. Jason Kerr’s rescue of Topsey, even at the chance of receiving a penalty, shows the respect a real man and human should to an animal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps cats have a beneficial effect on the human psyche that most people still cannot fathom thus appreciate. That unawareness may help explain why it was reported a few years ago that Surrey, British Columbia, had an estimated 36,000 feral cats, very many of which suffer severe malnourishment, debilitating injury and/or infection (I’ve seen many shocking, heart-wrenching images).

      Many people can appreciate the reciprocally healthy, perhaps even somewhat symbiotic, relationships that can exist between pet cats and their lovingly appreciative human owners/hosts, especially when the host lives with physical and/or mental ailments. Whenever I observe anxiety in the facial expression of my aging mother, I can also witness how that stress suddenly drains and is replaced with joyful adoration upon her cat entering the room. “Hi, sweetheart,” she’ll say. Countless other seniors with a cat also experience its emotional benefits. The cat’s qualities, especially his/her un-humanly innocence, of course, makes losing that pet someday such a heartbreaking experience.

      I grew up knowing a few cat-haters willing to procure sick satisfaction from torturing to death those naively-trusting thus likely sweet-natured cats whose owners have recklessly allowed them to wander the neighborhood at night. As an adult I noticed that people who said they were ‘not an animal person’ held a particular dislike for cats, regardless of cats’ incapacity for committing humanlike vicious acts out of plain malice. (I, at age 54, believe that along with human intelligence comes the proportionate reprehensible potential for evil behavior simply for its sake.) And while many will readily note cats’ propensity for preying upon small birds, the former seem oblivious to larger wildlife preying upon cats.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Interestingly, or maybe tellingly, we only see human-like capacity for cruelty and malice in our closest relatives, the chimpanzees. Orangutans, gorillas and other primates don’t engage in that kind of behavior, nor do other animals. It’s just humans and chimps.

        As for cruelty to cats in particular, one phrase that often pops up is “It’s just a cat,” as if we’re not living in an age where we can scan their brains and literally see them thinking in real time.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That was one of the most disturbing elements to this: Zouma was directly involving his kid in the cat abuse while his brother filmed and laughed behind the camera.

      If you’re that kid, you’re learning that daddy and your uncle think animal abuse is awesome, hilarious and a fun activity. That’s a horrible thing to teach a child, and it also could breed psychopathy later on in life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. Zouma is a bad father and a bad pet keeper. I can’t imagine what was going through his mind when he involved his son and brother.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They didn’t seem to think they were doing anything wrong, since they voluntarily uploaded the clip. Normally in these circumstances someone leaks a video, but these guys were like “Hey, check it out! We slapped the hell out of our cat and drop kicked it! LOL!”

        There was a similar incident in France a few years ago when some rapper went ballistic and slapped the hell out of his pet monkey. The video went viral and the guy got in trouble for abusing the monkey as well as having it in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank God the world – or at least much of the West – is not putting up with stuff like this anymore. Zouma must be an idiot, or maybe blinded by his ego, that he would think abusing an animal, and uploading to the ‘net for all to see, wouldn’t get him in BIG trouble. He richly deserves everything he gets.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One of his teammates responded to the media by asking “Is animal abuse worse than racism?” Of course this has nothing to do with racism, but that question then prompted a navel-gazing article in The Guardian and now the debate has been reframed to: “People are making too much of a fuss over a cat getting abused when there is racism in this world.”

      Insanity. Combating racism and animal abuse are not mutually exclusive things. Any decent person would realize that. But it was very effective in reframing the story and taking away the focus on the animal abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. But The Guardian, perhaps the most leftwing mainstream newspaper (a trait that actually attracts me to it), was probably waiting for anyone significant to bring up racism so that they (i.e. The Guardian, likely tripping over themselves in their haste) could flip the narrative, however unjustly. Having said that, though, I did come across many ugly posts on multiple British newspaper websites by readers insisting on wrongfully merging the cat-abuser’s race with his moral crime. To me, those readers very thinly veiled their dislike of him for his race. …

        The real issue undoubtedly was/is: completely gratuitous cruelty against animals and their resultant suffering, especially when no criminal animal-abuse charges are laid against the perpetrators. This is the norm, and it reveals a general societal devaluation of cat life and suffering.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Whether at human hands or preying animals’ teeth, cats have been a popular target of persecution throughout history, especially black cats, which the early Roman Catholic Church demonized and ordered to be slaughtered en masse. Fortunately, humane citizens eventually strongly protested the church’s death warrant on all of those innocent cats.

    Perhaps with a mindset of feline disposability — ‘Oh, there’s a lot more whence they came’ — some modern cat-haters procure sick satisfaction from torturing naively-trusting thus likely sweet-natured cats, in particular those whose owners have recklessly allowed them to wander the neighborhood at night.

    I believe that only when overpopulations of unwanted cats are greatly reduced in number by responsible owners consistently spaying/neutering their pet felines might these beautiful animals’ presence be truly appreciated, especially for the symbiotic-like healthy relationship (contrary to common misinformation) they can and do give us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Regarding thebigbuddy’s comment: “As for cruelty to cats in particular, one phrase that often pops up is ‘It’s just a cat,’ as if we’re not living in an age where we can scan their brains and literally see them thinking in real time.”

    When a British Columbian community newspaper editor wrote a column about courthouse protestors demanding justice in 2014 for a Sarnia, Ontario, cat shot in the head 17 times with a pellet gun thus destroying an eye, she rather recklessly declared: “Hey crazy people, it’s [just] a cat.” Apparently, she couldn’t relate to the heartfelt motivation behind the public outrage, regardless of it being directed at such senseless cruelty to an innocent animal, and therefore the demonstrators were somehow misguided. Maybe the court also perceived it so, as the charges against the two adult perpetrators were dropped. …

    “I never liked cats,” the otherwise-progressive Canadian commentator Vicky Mochama proclaimed in one of her syndicated columns. In another she wrote that Canadian politicians should replace their traditional unproductively rude heckling with caterwauling: “My vote is for meowing because I don’t like cats and I’d like to sabotage their brand as much as possible. So if our elected politicians are going to be disrespectful in our House of Commons, they might as well channel the animal that holds us all in contempt.” [I search-engined the Internet but found nothing as to the reason(s) behind her publicized anti-feline sentiments. Still, if her motives were expressed, perhaps she’d simply say, ‘I just do not like cats.’]

    Liked by 1 person

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