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Naomi Osaka becomes a co-owner of a professional women’s soccer team

Naomi Osaka (Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/ Leonard Zhukovsky)

Tennis star Naomi Osaka continues to flex her girl power and has invested in the North Carolina Courage, a professional women’s soccer team in the National Women’s Soccer League. Osaka is the first investor in the North Carolina Courage since Steve Malik acquired and relocated the team to the Tar Heel State in 2017.

“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,” explained Osaka in a statement to the press. “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.”

The North Carolina Courage is a member of the largest youth to professional soccer club in the U.S. with over 13,000 players. The new venture also aligns with The Naomi Osaka Play Academy, an initiative that aims to change girls’ lives through play and sport. Osaka’s program is part of Nike’s Made to Play commitment to motivate kids around the world. The Play Academy provides a fun, positive experience for young girls with a focus on gender-inclusive coaching and programming to overcome barriers for girls in sports.

“I am thrilled to welcome Osaka as an owner of the North Carolina Courage,” added Malik, chairman of the North Carolina Courage. “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.”

Check the video on the next page as the North Carolina Courage embraces their new co-owner.

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