Former Sheffield Wednesday keeper Chris Kirkland clears up comments on Kurt Zouma cat kicking video
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West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has been widely criticised by professional footballers after a video emerged on Snapchat of him drop kicking his pet cat at his home.
Zouma quickly apologised, but Surrey police confirmed that an investigation into the incident was underway.
In an interview on BBC Breakfast, Kirkland suggested that Zouma, who was signed by the Hammers for £29.8 million last summer, should be sacked. He added that the animal abuse shown in the video was ‘worse’ than racism.
Kirkland’s comment caused a backlash across social media, with some suggesting that it downplayed the serious issue of racism in football.
One Twitter user said: “I’m translating this as Chris Kirkland respects cats more than black people.”
Another said: “I can’t believe what Chris Kirkland said. Animal abuse is bad, but worse than racism?! There’s no flipping respect.”
In a video posted to Twitter on the morning of February 9, Chris said: “I know lot of people seem to be offended, and I totally understand.
“I mentioned racism about if players have been banned before. I know it said I said it’s possibly worse than that but what I meant was, animals can’t defend themselves. They’ve not got a voice.”
Kirkland added that racism was an “absolute disgrace” adding, “anyone who does that should be locked up.”
In the caption of the video, Kirkland wrote: “Hopefully this clears the @KurtZouma @WestHam situation up with my comments, absolutely nothing was meant by my comments.”
It emerged that Zouma could face up to four years in prison in France, where he is from, after a legal complaint was filed against the player in Paris.