Athletes, actresses, activists, and more are teaming up to launch a women's soccer team in Los Angeles. On July 21, Natalie Portman and venture capitalist Kara Nortman announced a group effort to bring Angel City to the NWSL by 2022, increasing the league to 11 teams. Portman and Nortman are joined by Eva Longoria, Serena Williams, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Chastain, Lilly Singh, and Uzo Aduba, as well as 14 former USWNT players, including Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach. Williams's husband, Alexis Ohanian, is the lead investor, and Julie Uhrman is president.
"Why don't we start our own team and do it differently — with the respect and equality and celebration these women deserve?"
Wambach, a soccer legend in her own right, shared a bit of background on how the team came to life on Instagram. Her speech at a Time's Up event sparked conversations with Portman about "inequity between the men's and women's experience inside of professional sports." This prompted a new idea: "Why don't we start our own team and do it differently — with the respect and equality and celebration these women deserve?" Their biggest obstacle was to find funding, but according to Wambach, Portman "reimagined this Old Boys Club system."
"What if — instead of ONE rich man buying the team — a PACK OF WOMEN band together to start one?" Wambach wrote. Once everyone banded together, Angel City became a reality. In addition to work on the field, the group is also aiming to enrich the lives of young athletes by partnering with the LA84 Foundation and supporting the foundation's Play Equity Fund. We can't wait to see what comes next for Angel City.