1:03 PM GMT
Jeff CarlisleU.S. shot analogous
- Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. nationalist squad for ESPN FC.
Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nashville Predators guardant Filip Forsberg are portion of a caller acceptable of number investors who person acquired a involvement successful Major League Soccer broadside Nashville SC.
Also included successful the radical are Antetokounmpo's brothers: his Milwaukee teammate, Thanasis; Kostas, who plays successful Turkey; and G-League subordinate Alex. The presumption of the concern were not disclosed.
"Soccer is simply a planetary sport, and our newest owners erstwhile again reenforce our club's committedness to being a planetary team," main proprietor John Ingram said successful a statement. "Filip and Giannis are not conscionable astonishing athletes -- they are ambassadors for their respective sports, relation models for millions and advocates successful their hometowns and worldwide. We stock a communal content that our teams not lone play to the highest standards, but besides assistance up their communities and assistance those who request it most."
The summation of the caller investors continues a inclination successful MLS successful which salient athletes person invested successful the league's teams. The Phoenix Suns' Kevin Durant purchased a 5% involvement successful the Philadelphia Union successful 2020, and James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers acquired 5% of the Houston Dynamo FC successful 2019. Before that, Denver Broncos backmost Russell Wilson purchased a involvement successful the Seattle Sounders FC.
In presumption of Nashville SC, the summation of the Antetokounmpo brothers and Forsberg, the starring vocation scorer successful Predators history, adds to the team's database of high-profile investors, which already includes histrion Reese Witherspoon and her husband, Jim Toth, arsenic good arsenic Tennessee moving backmost Derrick Henry.
"[Nashville] seems similar a peculiar place; there's truthful overmuch that's up-and-coming," Thanasis Antetokounmpo told ESPN implicit a Zoom call. "And we benignant of had the aforesaid travel arsenic well. Like, we've truly fought to beryllium successful the large leagues, to beryllium there, to beryllium acknowledged, and idiosyncratic came and gave america an opportunity. And astatine the aforesaid time, for america to not lone springiness the athletics of shot an accidental to turn but [be known] overseas arsenic well.
"I privation radical globally to cognize astir Nashville and spot the shot team. So it's a happening for us. It's big."
Although the Antetokounmpo brothers marque their surviving successful hoops -- Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas person each been portion of NBA title-winning teams, and Giannis was the NBA MVP successful 2019 and 2020 -- they stock a emotion for shot arsenic well.
"My begetter was a nonrecreational shot player, and it was the archetypal athletics I fell successful emotion with successful Greece," Giannis said. "I've ever had the imagination of owning a shot team. When my brothers and I explored Nashville SC, we knew it was a squad and a metropolis that we wanted to get progressive with. I couldn't beryllium much excited to articulation the Boys successful Gold, and can't hold to travel to a lucifer astatine GEODIS Park soon!"
The brothers' father, Charles, played professionally successful Nigeria and Germany. Their oldest brother, Francis, played professionally successful Greece arsenic well. Charles died successful 2017, and Thanasis said this concern is simply a mode to grant their father's memory.
"I cognize he'll beryllium truthful arrogant of america today, that this is happening," Thanasis said astir his father. "It's not conscionable the concern portion of it. There's a portion of it that's a legacy, that for us, it's for generations to travel that we're portion of this."
Forsberg grew up arsenic a instrumentality of Liverpool successful his autochthonal Sweden acknowledgment to his father, Patrik. But it was his attendance astatine immoderate Nashville location games past twelvemonth successful the team's brand-new stadium, GEODIS Park, that persuaded him and his wife, Erin, to invest.
"The stadium present successful Nashville, with the fans and the atmosphere, was awesome," Forsberg told ESPN via telephone. "It was similar the archetypal sensation that this is existent soccer, existent football. And erstwhile we were approached by Nashville SC to bash immoderate benignant of partnership, that benignant of started everything.
"We were truly excited astir it, maine and my woman and, present we are, months later, and it's been a truly chill travel truthful far. We're conscionable present getting started."