A Soccer Player Was Filmed Hurting His Cat Three Times

Recent footage reveals that Kurt Zouma, a French soccer star who plays for the British team West Ham United, has abused his family's cat -- on at least 3 occasions. And one of these times, it was in front of a young, impressionable child.

His brother apparently filmed Zouma during these incidents, and someone's laughter can be heard during the shocking abuse. It's now become a viral video online. Originally posted to Snapchat, the video has been viewed approximately 3 million times already. In the clips, Zouma drop-kicks his cat across a room in his home. Another time, as the terrified animal flees from him, the soccer player tries to throw a shoe or other object at the cat. And in the final recording, a child holds the cat in its hands. Then Zouma hits the cat clear out of the child's hold, smacking the cat in its face.

Violence like this doesn't occur without a person experiencing some kind of pain inside. It's not excusable and must not occur again. But one of the best ways to prevent future violence would be to deal with the emotional impetus underneath.

Sign the petition to urge West Ham to take action now to ensure its players are receiving the emotional support they need!

Zouma has since released a statement claiming this was a single "isolated incident" -- but that seems unlikely. Already, we have evidence of three incidents, and that's just from the small amount of footage we've seen. There could even be a lot more we haven't seen, which could be equally upsetting.

Fans, animal lovers, and prominent organizations alike have rushed to condemn this obvious cruelty. As the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has said in response, "It's never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise." The West Ham United Football Club has, meanwhile, also issued a statement saying it opposes animal abuse and will investigate this matter.

But Zouma hasn't been suspended from any games or, as far as we know, received any counseling for his violent behavior.

West Ham must show that it values animal rights, and also the mental health of its players, by providing Zouma with the help he needs. It must ensure that all players are emotionally healthy, both for the good of those individuals and for their larger communities. Sign the petition if you agree!
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