EPL

Antonio: Is what Zouma has done worse than racism?

By Sports Desk February 10, 2022

Michail Antonio believes West Ham team-mate Kurt Zouma's punishment for abusing his cat should not be more severe than the sanctions handed out to those convicted of racist abuse.

Zouma was filmed kicking and slapping his cat, prompting West Ham to issue the defender a £250,000 fine – which will be donated to charity – while animal charity RSPCA removed the Frenchman's cats.

However, the 27-year-old was not dropped from the Hammers' starting line-up, with manager David Moyes selecting him in the 1-0 win over Watford in their subsequent fixture.

Zouma's presence on the pitch was met with criticism, but Antonio feels those calling for the centre-back to be sacked are going too far in light of the punishments put in place for players that are found guilty of using racist language.

"I've got a question for you," Antonio said to a Sky Sports reporter. "Do you think what he's done is worse than racism?

"I'm not condoning a thing that [Zouma] has done. I don't agree with what he's done at all.

"But, there's people that have been convicted, 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, for them to lose their livelihood. I've just got to ask this question to everyone out there: Is what he's done worse than what the people have done that [have been] convicted for racism?"

West Ham's next fixture is a Premier League game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday as the Hammers compete to finish in the top four.

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