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Second West Ham Sponsor Withdraws Its Support to the Club Over Kurt Zouma’s Cat Abuse Video

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A second West Ham sponsor has withdrawn its support for the club as the backlash continued over a video showing the defender Kurt Zouma dropping, kicking, and slapping one of his cats.

Experience Kissimmee, the tourism authority for Osceola County, Florida, had been evaluating its relationship with West Ham since Zouma was selected to start Tuesday’s game against Watford after the footage went viral.

West Ham said on Wednesday that they had fined Zouma “the maximum amount possible” – understood to be two weeks’ wages, amounting to £250,000 – and have condemned his behaviour.

The RSPCA has taken Zouma’s two cats into care and is conducting an investigation. The player, who has apologised for his actions, has lost his Adidas footwear sponsorship.

On Thursday Zouma’s clubmate Michail Antonio queried calls from some quarters for Zouma to be sacked.

Asked by a Sky Sports reporter about the case, the forward said: “I’ve got a question for you: so, do you think what he’s done is worse than racism? I’m not condoning a thing that he’s done – I don’t agree with what he’s done at all – but there are people who have been caught for racism and have played football afterwards.

“They got punished, they got an eight-game punishment or something like that, but people are now calling for people to be sacked, to lose their livelihood. I’ve just got to ask this question to everyone out there: is what he’s done worse?”

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