In a leaked video, the French centre-back kicked his pet cat. Zouma also slapped the pet in the face. He then proceeded to throw a shoe as the cat tried to escape.
The footage has caused uproar in the public sphere. However, it has also caused issues in his club’s dressing room in the form of wage differences.
Kurt Zouma controversy: The fallout
The video of Zouma abusing his cat caused outrage on social media and beyond. Unsurprisingly, the West Ham player faced repercussions for his actions. The RSPCA took custody of his pets and have opened an investigation against the player.
Adidas, Zouma’s boot sponsor, ended their contract with him due to the incident.
He was also fined ‘the maximum amount possible’ by his club, to the tune of £250,000 – better known as two weeks’ wages.
Furthermore, his brother Yoan Zouma, who videoed the incident, has been suspended by his club, fifth-tier Dagenham and Redbridge.
However, despite the video ending up online before their next game, West Ham manager David Moyes started Kurt Zouma vs Watford. It was only after their 1-0 victory that Zouma was fined.
In addition, the club released a statement issuing their support of the RSPCA investigation and condemning Zouma’s actions.
Some West Ham players are angry at their current wage situation after finding out how much Zouma makes.
Problems with wages
When news of the fine broke, simple math shows that Zouma is currently on £125,000 per week. This makes the defender the highest-paid player in West Ham’s squad.
According to Spotrac, Andriy Yarmalenko is second on their wage bill, on £115,000 per week. Rounding out the top three is one of West Ham’s star performers in Michael Antonio. He is on a reported £100,000 per week.
Since Zouma’s wages have been exposed, some of the London club’s stars are apparently unhappy that he’s the highest earner.
Players who have been influential in West Ham’s great performance this season are paid significantly less than Zouma. For example, star man Declan Rice is reportedly on half of Zouma’s weekly salary, at £62,000 a week.
Undoubtedly, this new information will cause tension. Some may feel they aren’t being paid justly for their efforts.
Demands for new contracts from key first team players may be on the horizon.