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By Ben Kesslen
Kareem Hunt, a former Kansas City Chiefs star who was fired after a video of him pushing and kicking a woman, returns to the NFL.
The Cleveland Browns announced Monday that the runner will join his team for a one-year contract.
Hunt was fired by the Chiefs in late November after TMZ Sports released a video of him engaging in an argument with a woman who turned violent at a hotel in Cleveland in February 2018.
Hours after the video came to light, the Chiefs eliminated the 2017 Rookie of the Year, who at one point in 2018 had the fifth most yards in the NFL.
Hunt apologized for his actions shown in the video shortly after its release. In a statement on Monday, he reiterated his remorse and said: "I pledge to follow the necessary steps to learn and be a better and healthier person in this situation."
But the decision of the Browns to sign it was denounced on Monday by some advocates against gender violence.
"The message it sends is that money matters more than women," said Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women to NBC News.
"Women are not important to the NFL, which is quite surprising because they are a big part of the audience."
Erin White, spokeswoman for Safe Horizons, a national victim services agency, told NBC News that the decision to bring Hunt back to the league is "worrisome."
"Consequently, the message survivors hear is that their experiences are not valued." When we treat abuse or violence as a private problem or sweep it under the carpet, that behavior is reinforced, "White said.
Browns general manager John Dorsey justified Hunt's return and said in a statement that "Kareem took full responsibility for his notorious actions and showed real remorse."
"Given what we know about Kareem, we think it deserves a second chance," Dorsey said.
Dorsey has a history with Hunt: he was the CEO of the Chiefs when Hunt was originally recruited for the team in 2017.
Even though the Browns have brought Hunt, the video is still being investigated by the NFL.
On social media, many called the NFL because what they said was a double standard in the treatment of Hunt and Colin Kaepernick.
Mike Freeman, an NFL columnist in Bleacher Report, tweeted, "Kareem Hunt is IN THE VIDEO kicking a woman while she is on the ground and is still signed in. Thank God, she did not kneel to protest social justice."
Darin Gantt, a reporter for NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk, tweeted "If you are a woman or a minority, the NFL has told you in very clear terms today how seriously they take you." It's time to believe them. "