Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, and Others Are Bringing a Women’s Soccer Team to L.A.
Serena Williams and her 2-year-old daughter are also part of the predominantly female investor group.
The National Women’s Soccer League announced Tuesday that it’s expanding with a new professional women’s soccer team in L.A.—and there’s an all-star team of celebrities is behind the whole thing. Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria, are all part of an investor group helping to bring the women’s soccer team—which has dubbed itself “Angel City”—to L.A.
Reddit co-founder and Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian is also involved in the investor group alongside technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman and media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman. As reported by E! Online, Ohanian said in a statement that he’s proud to be a part of this group not only because he’s a fan of women’s soccer but also because it’s been “undervalued by too many people for far too long.”
“As someone who spends hours kicking around a football with my 2-year-old daughter, I want her to have a front row seat to this revolution,” Ohanian said. “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.”
Even better? Ohanian and William’s 2-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., will be part of the founding investor group as well, making her one of the youngest investors in the sports business.
Of course, the founding of Angel City didn’t happen without a conversation about the ongoing fight for equal pay between the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams. In an announcement video posted on Angel City’s Twitter, the voiceover explains that the team will be “rewriting the script,” “righting the wrongs,” and “driving change forward.”
The team has also committed to social justice work through a partnership with the LA84 foundation, supporting its Play Equity Fund, which works to increase youth access to sports within underserved communities in Los Angeles.
In an interview with Sportico, Portman says the investor group started with only three women before growing to the impressive list it is now.
“We believe in setting higher expectations on and off the field, for our team, players and fans,” 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.”
Portman was a big supporter of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team on its journey to winning the World Cup. She’s pictured in a TBT Instagram above with celeb friends and co-investors Aduba, Garner, Longoria, and Chastain.
Chastain also referenced the news on her Instagram, writing, “Women ? supporting ? women. So excited to stand alongside my sisters in bringing a new generation of women’s soccer to Los Angeles.”
Here are the rest of names on the predominantly female investor list, as reported by E! Online:
Late-night talk show host Lilly Singh, author and activist Glennon Doyle, Netflix VP of original content Cindy Holland, tech entrepreneur and filmmaker Casey Neistat, founding board member of Baby2Baby Sabina Nathanson, media executive David Nathanson, Baby2Baby co-president Norah Weinstein, Bad Robot president and COO Brian Weinstein, U.S. Women’s National Team players Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Rachel Buehler, Shannon Boxx, Amanda Cromwell, Lorrie Fair Allen, Ronnie Fair Sullins, Joy Fawcett, Angela Hucles, Shannon MacMillan, Tisha Venturini Hoch, and Saskia Webber; two-time Olympic gold medalists and FIFA World Cup Champions Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach.