Natalie Portman Reveals Why She Is Bringing a Professional Women’s Soccer Team to LA
There is a new professional women’s soccer team coming to Los Angeles. The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced this week that a new team is coming to LA in spring 2022. Natalie Portman and some other celebrities are helping make it happen too. So, what is Portman’s role with this team, and why is she helping bring women’s soccer to LA?
Natalie Portman and other stars are bringing a pro women’s soccer team to LA
According to E! News, the NWSL made the announcement about the pro team on July 21, 2020. There has not been an announcement about the team’s name and venue partner yet. However, the investor ownership group calls its organization “Angel City.”
The group includes Portman, technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman, venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian, and media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman. Ohanian and tennis star Serena Williams are married.
“I am proud to be a part of this wonderful group working to bring a women’s professional football club to Los Angeles,” Ohanian said in a statement, per E! News. “Chiefly, because I’m a fan of the game, but also because I believe there is massive potential for the sport and it’s been undervalued by too many people for far too long.”
He went on to say that he is someone who “spends hours kicking around a football” with his two-year-old daughter. So, he wants her to be able to see something like this up close.
“I’m personally investing on behalf of my family because creating more opportunities in women’s sports is important to my wife and me, and we want to be a part of making a better future for our daughter,” Ohanian said.
Natalie Portman discussed why she is helping bring women’s soccer to LA
When talking to the sports industry outlet Sportico, Portman revealed some of the benefits of bringing a team to LA.
“After spending time with the [U.S. Women’s National Team] players, their union rep, and getting to know some of the owners of the NWSL, and the league’s supporters, it became clear having a team in LA could not only elevate the league and players’ exposure, but also bring these incredibly talented women to the city of LA — my city,” Portman said. “We have the ability to engage, promote, and support the best players in the world in the most popular sport in the world on a yearly basis, not just every four years.”
She also added that Angel City believes in setting high expectations on and off the field.
“Our story from the beginning was different — from starting with three founding women to building a movement before even having the money, stadium, rights, or fans [to now] being able to grow our list of founding investors,” Portman said. “Success to us isn’t only on the field, but our impact in our community, payback to our players, and entertainment of the world. We are not a legacy team but a team of activists, athletes, and entrepreneurs who are used to challenging the status quo and reshaping expectations.”
Who else is a part of the investor group?
In addition to Portman, Nortman, Uhrman, and Ohanian, several big names are also members of the investor group.
Serena Williams and her two-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. are a part of it, and several actresses are also members. Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, and Eva Longoria, and talk show host Lilly Singh are all a part of the group. Additionally, several former U.S. Women’s National Team players are in the group as well. This includes stars Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach.
According to ESPN, the team being brought to LA by all of these superstars will become the league’s 11th team. There are currently nine teams, but Racing Louisville FC will begin play in 2021, becoming the 10th team.
Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!