West Ham’s Michail Antonio has questioned the reaction to the Kurt Zouma cat-kicking incident, saying: “Is it worse than players convicted of racism?”.

Zouma’s cats have been taken away by the RSPCA after a disturbing video emerged of him hitting, dropping, and kicking his pet across his kitchen floor on Monday.

The 27-year-old West Ham defender issued an apology but Essex Police confirmed “urgent enquiries” were underway in conjunction with the RSPCA.

West Ham have fined Zouma two weeks wages which will be donated to animal welfare charities, while Adidas have dropped the player as a client.

Asked about the reaction to the Zouma situation, Antonio responded: “I’ve got a question for you. 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 has done at all.

“But there’s 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?”