After news that Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC owner will sell the teams, JJ Watt tweets that he's interested

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read

JJ Watt, NFL defensive end and MLS and NWSL owner?

Watt at least raised the prospect on Sunday after MLS and NWSL announced that owner Dell Loy Hansen would start the process of selling the two teams. Hansen and his family will sell the teams after multiple reports emerged that he made racist comments.

While we can’t truly tell if Watt’s ownership aspirations are serious based on a two-word tweet, Watt already has a significant interest in soccer and the NWSL. Watt’s wife, Kealia Ohai, plays for the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL and is a Utah native.

Watt also has the name recognition and marketability to easily round up other investors into an ownership group. The Hansens currently own Real Salt Lake, Royals FC and USL club Real Monarchs, an affiliate of Real Salt Lake. Adding Watt to the list of major soccer team owners in the United States would be a coup for MLS and the NWSL.

The process of the future sale of the three teams unofficially started earlier in the week after Hansen criticized Real Salt Lake players for refusing to play Wednesday night amid sports protests in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Hansen inexplicably said that his team’s protest felt “like somebody stabbed you and you’re trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out and move forward.”

Toronto FC and US Men’s National Team forward Jozy Altidore said after Hansen’s comments that he needed to sell the team and that he was part of an ownership group that would be ready to purchase it. According to Forbes, RSL was valued on its own at over $200 million in 2019.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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