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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Michele Kang Reportedly Gains Control of Washington Spirit

  • The battle over the new owners of the Washington Spirit may be over.
  • Minority owner Michele Kang has taken control of the team, according to The Athletic.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

The battle over the new owners of the Washington Spirit may be ending.

Minority owner Michele Kang — for whom Spirit players previously voiced support — has staged a coup among investors, taking control of the team and its operations, according to The Athletic.

  • Eight debt-holders aligned with Kang converted their shares to equity at her request in order to gain voting rights, per The Athletic. Kang and the investors who support her now make up a 52% stake.
  • The biggest debt-holder, Devin Talbott, reportedly sold his piece to Kang for $500,000.
  • Majority owner Steve Baldwin “no longer has control of the team or the ability to dictate the terms of any sale,” according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post.

The league may still have to approve several of these maneuvers.

The Road to Ownership

Ownership has been up in the air since October, when Baldwin agreed to step down in the wake of news about a sexual assault scandal and toxic workplace culture that led to an investigation.

Kang placed a $35 million bid to buy the team, but Baldwin reportedly flouted it, negotiating instead with a group that included Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly that offered only $25 million.

In response, Kang and several investors threatened legal recourse for Baldwin’s pursuit of the low-ball bid. Boehly’s group has now reportedly withdrawn from negotiations.

“Let us be clear,” players previously said in a statement. “The person we trust is Michele.”

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