The ex-girlfriend of NFL linebacker Reuben Foster said it felt like a "slap in the face" for the Washington Redskins to claim the player despite her charge that he abused her.
The former San Francisco 49ers' ex-girlfriend Elissa Ennis told "Good Morning America" in an interview broadcast Thursday that she was outraged to see the Redskins leap to pursue Foster.
"When he got signed, I was like, 'I can't believe somebody picked him.' I just couldn't believe someone picked him up in less than, how many hours? I was shocked," she said.
Ennis, 28, told GMA that over the course of her four-year relationship with Foster, the 228-pound athlete punched her, kicked her, spit on her and dragged her down flights of stairs by her hair.
She said Foster, 24, got angry with her in Tampa last month when she threatened to contact his girlfriend.
"I told him I was gonna tell his new girlfriend that he paid for my flight out there," Ennis said. "That's what triggered it."
Foster was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence related to the alleged incident.
Washington was the only team to put in a claim for Foster after the 49ers released him in late November.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said team officials would seriously consider the charge against Foster.
"At the end of the day we decided to make the move, and we'll deal with the outcry, so to speak," Gruden said at a news conference. "But for the most part, this is a young athlete, a young person who got himself into some trouble, and we want to find out exactly what happened."
In February, Ennis reported a separate incident of abuse. She later recanted the allegation. She told GMA she did so in an attempt to protect Foster.
"I thought that he would change," she said.
Ennis said she has been seeing a therapist.
"This is not love. Love won't do you like that. This is not love," she said.
A Redskins spokesman declined comment and referred to the team's prior statement.
Foster changed agents last month. A message sent to his new representative was not immediately returned.
Foster is on the NFL commissioner's exempt list, which means he cannot practice or play. He is still being paid under his contract worth more than $9 million.