Three-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is investing in National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise North Carolina Courage; the 23-year-old says she admires everything the Courage does for diversity and equality in the community
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 28/01/21 12:46pm
Naomi Osaka has invested in National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise North Carolina Courage.
The 23-year-old, who was Forbes’ highest-paid female athlete in 2020 as well as being named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year for a strong showing on the court and her off-the-court activism, is the first investor in the Courage since Steve Malik acquired and relocated the team to North Carolina in 2017.
The club, who compete at the highest level in the US – the National Women’s Soccer League – have won six trophies in four years (two NWSL Championships, three NWSL Shields, and the Women’s International Champions Cup).
The women who have invested in me growing up made me who I am today, I don’t know where I would be without them. 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 ⚽️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Iz0YcVvOqz
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 28, 2021
“The women who have invested in me growing up made me who I am today and I cannot think of where my life would be without them,” Osaka told the club’s official website.
“My investment in the North Carolina Courage is far beyond just being a team owner, it’s an investment in amazing women who are role models and leaders in their fields and inspirations to all young female athletes. I also admire everything the Courage does for diversity and equality in the community, which I greatly look forward to supporting and driving forward.”
One more week!#NoFinishLine pic.twitter.com/ypb6a3KQ7W
— NC Courage (@TheNCCourage) January 25, 2021
Malik is excited to have Osaka on board as an investor and he hopes the world No 3 will inspire the next generation of women.
“I am thrilled to welcome Naomi as an owner of the North Carolina Courage,” he said. “Naomi embodies the values we have been striving to cultivate at our club, and she brings an invaluable viewpoint on topics beyond sports.
“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.”
𝘼 𝙝𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙘 𝙛𝙚𝙖𝙩.
Progress and promise for the future 💯 pic.twitter.com/hYMZA2tD59
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) January 22, 2021
The Courage are coached by two-time NWSL Coach of the Year, Paul Riley. The 57-year-old was born in Liverpool but he has spent his entire playing and coaching career in the US.
Osaka is currently preparing to play at the Australian Open, which starts on February 8. She won the event in 2019 and also triumphed at the US Open in 2018 and 2020.
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Source : Sky Sports