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Changing the Game: Female Celebrities and the National Women’s Soccer League

Natalie Portman- Academy Awarding winning actress, and now the owner of the newest team to join The National Women’s Soccer League. The Los Angeles based team will be the 11th to join the NWSL in the spring of 2022, owned by the Angel City Group, whose lead investor is Portman. Other celebrities including Serena Williams, Eva Longoria, Uzo Aduba, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastain are also involved in the new ownership, along with a handful of former US Women's National Team star athletes such as Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett.

For years, previously known celebrity sports team owners mostly skew males, such as Justin Timberlake, Will Ferrell, Usher, Bill Maher, and many more.

With the purchase of this franchise, the Angel City Group will be the first female majority-owned and led ownership group.

Using their platform, the celebs are creating a space for women to lead and empower each other, encouraging a shift in sport’s ownership as we know it.

Last week, Portman and Williams spoke on Instagram Live about the project that had been in the works for over a year, expressing their passion to be able to support this group of strong and admirable female athletes.

Portman stated that by using the entertainment community, which is centered around LA, to help support an LA-based team will only “bring broader attention to these incredible players.”

The female stars are also using this opportunity to extend initiatives to the LA84 Foundation, making playing sports more accessible for young people in Los Angeles. The role of Olympia Williams, age two, as one of many owners of the team, extends the inspiring message to children and young women, especially that they too can be involved in the sports world.

This is a pivotal moment in time, as it is yet another step forward for women in sports to know that they possess the same capabilities that men within the industry have. For women in sports, there is still a great deal of room for change regarding pay and equal opportunity. However, this is most definitely a step in the right direction.


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