Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian co-founded and invested in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Angel City FC a couple of years ago to promote women’s football in the US. His interest in the club, however, stemmed from a conversation he had with Williams.
Ohanian said that his eventual association with the club and the NWSL came after he accepted a “dare” from his wife and tennis legend Williams.
“Angel City [FC] was largely prompted by a dare from my wife [Serena Williams],” Alexis Ohanian said, in a video shared by the NWSL on Twitter.
Ohanian, Williams, and their daughter Olympia were watching the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, and their daughter was proudly running around wearing a jersey of Alex Morgan, the former captain of the US Women’s National Soccer Team. That was when he dreamt of seeing his daughter play for the national team in the future.
When he floated the idea to Williams, she was quick to declare that Olympia will only play when she is paid what she is worth. In light of the fight for equal pay in men’s and women’s sports in which the US women’s soccer team has played a huge role, Ohanian took his wife’s words as a challenge and set out on a mission to help bring about change, which eventually led him to Angel City FC.
“As I was watching the 2019 Women’s World Cup final and my daughter was running around in an Alex Morgan jersey. I was just musing like, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if she played for the women’s national team one day?’ And Serena without missing a single beat said, ‘Not until they pay her what she’s worth.’ I was like, alright, challenge accepted, let’s see if I can do some things to help,” Ohanian expressed.