I don’t watch football – or soccer, as it’s called back home – so I didn’t have a clue who Kurt Zouma was. And then a video appeared, and all hell broke loose in England (and in France.)
Who is he?
Kurt Zouma is a French professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Premier League club West Ham United and the France national team. (from Wiki)
Born in Lyon, Zouma lives and plays soccer in England.
What was the video and why did all hell break loose?
Zouma was filmed kicking his cats and throwing objects at them as he chased them around the house. His brother, Yoan, was doing the filming and both of them were laughing. A child is seen in the kitchen of the £2m mansion. Believing these actions to be really funny and wishing to share, the brother posted the video on social media (with laughing emojis.)
The video went viral, the RSPCA was called in and took the cats away, Zouma was fined £250,000 (this only represents two weeks’ pay as he earns £125,000 a week), Adidas dropped their footwear sponsorship with him, the Mayor of London made a public statement against animal cruelty, and more than 160,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the footballer to be prosecuted. Oh, and the brother, Yoan, also a footballer with another club, was ordered to quit.
Professional sports men and women are supposed to be role models.
In France, animal rights’ groups are calling for Zouma to be suspended from the team. A complaint has been filed against him under the French penal code. Tough animal protection laws were introduced in France in 2021, meaning that the “mistreatment of animals” is punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine.
Still laughing, Zouma brothers?