David Moyes says he stands by the decision to pick Kurt Zouma ahead of this weekend's meeting with Leicester.
The defender was controversially included in the starting XI to play Watford in midweek, 24-hours after a video emerged online of Zouma drop-kicking - and slapping - a cat in his kitchen.
The 27-year old was later fined two-weeks' wages by West Ham for his actions, and his cats were taken from him by the RSPCA.
On Tuesday night, Moyes rationalised the selection of Zouma by saying "he is one of our better players".
And speaking ahead of Sunday's trip to the King Power, the Hammers manager doubled down on the decision to keep playing the former Chelsea player.
"Yes, he is available against Leicester and I stand by the decision to play him," Moyes told Friday's press conference.
"There are different views on should he be available or not. We as a club took the decision that we make him available, and I stand by that.
"I don't think the club could take more action or any quicker. West Ham have fined him the maximum wages, we all accept the actions terrible and diabolical."
West Ham's Michail Antonio has questioned the reaction to Kurt Zouma kicking his cat, asking if it's worse than players convicted of racism. pic.twitter.com/QchAIeXOsT
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 10, 2022
Despite the public outcry, and the fining of Zouma, West Ham have spent the week circling the wagons around their star defender.
Michail Antonio compared the response to the cat abuse video, to the treatment of people found guilty of racial abuse.
Moyes again went to bat for Zouma on Friday, "We are so disappointed it is completely out of character from Kurt he is a really good lad we are going to get him some help and trying to give him as much help as we can."
Pressed on what class of help Zouma requires, Moyes responded, "Like drink driving offences most people have to go to classes and the RSPCA are going to provide him with classes and we will do everything we can to make sure Kurt is looking into it and getting better and understanding it."
When asked how Zouma was doing amid the tumult, Moyes replied, "He is very disappointed and incredibly remorseful and sometimes in life you need forgiveness and he is hoping for that. Many of us throughout our lives make mistakes.
"I have never had one [a situation] like this before, I hope I never get another incident like this.
"But that is part of the job and it is there and we know it is there and are disappointed with it and wish it was not in the news.
"We have a really good side and I am sad the focus has been taken away from a relatively good season that I hope will get better."
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