Tennis powerhouse Naomi Osaka is adding the title sports franchise owner to her repertoire. According to CBS News, the U.S. Open champion recently became part-owner of the National Women’s Soccer League’s North Carolina Courage team.
Whether it’s spreading awareness about police brutality or speaking up about the importance of women’s equality, Osaka has been very intentional about using her platform to make a statement and drive change. She says she wants her investment in the team to exemplify the power of women supporting each other. “Currently reflecting on how the women who have invested in me growing up made me who I am today, I actually don’t know where I would be without them,” the 23-year-old wrote in an Instagram post. “I feel that throughout my career I’ve always received so much love from my fellow female athletes so that’s why I am proud to share that I am now a owner of @thenccourage I will keep continuing to pay the love I have received forward and I’m excited to continue the legacy of women empowerment.” Steve Malik, who serves as the chairman for the North Carolina Courage, says Osaka’s values align with the team’s mission. “I cannot think of anyone better to help us as we continue to make a difference in our community and inspire the next generation of women.”
News about Osaka’s investment comes a month after she was named the 2020 Female Athlete of the Year by The Associated Press.
Osaka isn’t the only star who has invested in a professional women’s soccer team. WNBA player Candace Parker and her 11-year-old daughter Lailaa Nicole Williams recently became part-owners of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Angel City team. Tennis star Serena Williams and her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. are also part-owners of the same team.