West Ham manager David Moyes says he is a “an animal lover” but “responsible for getting results” after deciding to select Kurt Zouma for Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Watford.
The Hammers have “unreservedly condemned” the defender after videos emerged on social media of him kicking and slapping his pet cat.
Moyes told BBC Match of the Day: “It’s something we’re all disappointed with and something we can’t understand.
“He’ll learn from it [but] today I had to pick a football team that gave me the best chance of winning the game as manager of West Ham.
“I know how people feel, but I’m also a football manager here.
“My feeling was that Kurt has apologised and I understand a lot of people will not just be accepting of an apology. But to me he came out and [apologised] honestly and I had to do my job.”