Actress Natalie Portman leads a group responsible for founding a new franchise that will compete in women’s football in 2022, and that also include other Hollywood figures like Jessica Chastain and Eva Longoria and athletes like Serena Williams, the Women’s League announced on Tuesday. (NWSL).
“A group mostly founded by women and led by actress and activist Natalie Portman (…) has secured the exclusive right to take a professional women’s soccer team to Los Angeles to debut in the (boreal) spring of 2022,” said the NWSL in a statement.
The Los Angeles team, initially called Angel City, will become the eleventh NWSL team, as another franchise, Louisville FC, will join the nine current teams in 2021.
In addition to Portman, other members of the founding group are venture capital investor in technology Kara Nortman and businesswoman in the video game industry Julie Uhrman, who will chair the new football team.
– First franchise led by women –
“Today, we are taking an exciting step by announcing the first female-led group,” said Portman, winner of the Oscar for best actress for “Black Swan” in 2011.
“Sports are such a joyful way of bringing people together, and that has the power to make a tangible change for women sportspeople in our community as well as in the professional sphere,” he said.
“We hope to have a substantial impact on our community by committing ourselves to expanding access to sports for young people in Los Angeles,” said Portman, who throughout his career has been involved in a variety of social causes including the “Time’s Up” movement, which fights against sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry.
Investors in the new franchise include other actresses: Chastain, Longoria, Jennifer Garner and America Ferrera, and athletes like multi-champion tennis player Serena Williams and more than a dozen former football players, including Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy.
NWSL, which celebrated its inaugural season in 2013, was the first professional sports league in the United States to resume activities in the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Her tournament, the Challenge Cup, lost some figures like the current female Golden Ball, Megan Rapinoe. The resumption of activities began on June 27 in two stadiums with the doors closed in the state of Utah and will end on Sunday.
The United States is one of the great powers of women’s football and the current world champion.