It’s been 2 days since West Ham Defender Kurt Zouma got embroiled in controversy after a video surfaced of him abusing his cat.
Since then, the Frenchman has had a number of penalties imposed on him, including a hefty fine and the termination of his boot deal with Adidas.
The penalising might not end there as some people are even calling for suspensions or even the termination of his contract.
Amidst all the noise, Zouma’s teammate Michail Antonio has offered support or at least a voice of reason.
The forward was caught by a reporter while in his car, who then proceeded to ask for his thoughts on the situation.
Antonio flipped the tables and question the reporter instead and said, “I’ve got a question for you. Do you think what he’s done is worse than racism?”
He continued, “I’m not condoning a thing that he’s done. I don’t agree with what he has done at all.”But there are people that have been convicted and been caught for racism and have played football afterwards. They got an eight-game punishment or something like that, but people are now calling for people to be sacked and to lose their livelihood.”
“I’ve just got to ask this question to everyone out there: is what he’s [Zouma] done worse than what the people convicted of racism done?”
Michail Antonio has given a powerful response when asked about the situation at West Ham with Kurt Zouma. pic.twitter.com/epXxAkkfLU— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 10, 2022
His argument certainly carries weight, as footballers in the past have gotten away with equally heinous acts without similarly harsh punishments.
There are a number of examples too such as Eden Hazard kicking a ball boy or Luis Suarez racially abusing Patrice Evra.
While we certainly aren’t drawing any parallels between these acts, it’s safe to assume that Zouma’s stern punishments were fueled by the PR sensitivity of this social media era.
And by the looks of it, he might have more coming his way.