Just days after the French international defender returned to the pitch with West Ham after a hamstring injury, a video of Kurt Zouma abusing his cat was leaked by The Sun on Monday.
Zouma in the eye of the storm
The centre-back was filmed abusing a cat several times. First with a violent kick, then by throwing an object at it, before slapping it. These obvious acts of animal abuse triggered the fury of supporters and internet users on social networks.
Apology and punishment to come
In comments reported by The Sun, the AS Saint-Etienne-trained player made his mea culpa:
I would like to apologise for my actions. There is no excuse for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret.
Before going on to say:
I also want to say how sorry I am for everyone who was upset by the video. I want 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.
When contacted by The Sun's reporters, West Ham, Zouma's current club, strongly condemned their player's behaviour, revealing that the matter would be handled internally. In view of these chilling images, one would hope for a firm and appropriate sanction.