West Ham United’s Michail Antonio questioned the logic of people calling for his teammate Kurt Zouma to be ‘sacked’ after a video surfaced of Zouma abusing his cats, with the striker asking if what the Frenchman did was worse than those guilty of racism.
The RSPCA animal charity has taken over Zouma’s cats, while West Ham sponsor Vitality has suspended its association with the club over its handling of the matter. Adidas has stopped sponsoring Zouma. Jamaican striker Antonio said he does not approve of Zouma’s actions, but asked why those guilty of racism get a second chance to continue their careers after serving a penalty while Zouma should lose his job.
“I have a question for you. Do you think what he has done is worse than racism? I am not condoning anything that he has done, I do not agree with what he has done at all,” Antonio told a Sky Sports reporter. “But there are people who have been convicted, caught for racism and have played football afterwards. .
They got banished for eight games or something like that, but now people are calling for people to be fired and for them to lose their livelihoods.” I just have to ask everyone this question: Is what you’ve done worse than what people convicted of racism have done? Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight games and fined 40,000 pounds ($54,000) for racially abusing former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in 2011.
West Ham said Zouma was fined the “maximum possible amount”, with British media reporting the fine as two weeks’ wages. The 27-year-old, who has apologized, accepted the fine which will be donated to animal welfare charities. Calls for Zouma to be sacked increased after West Ham manager David Moyes selected him for Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Watford, while an online petition for him to be prosecuted was signed by more than 272,000. persons.