scorecardActress Reese Witherspoon, NFL star Derrick Henry and a Republican senator's 4 children are now all minority owners of Nashville's MLS soccer team
  1. Home
  2. Politics
  3. world
  4. news
  5. Actress Reese Witherspoon, NFL star Derrick Henry and a Republican senator's 4 children are now all minority owners of Nashville's MLS soccer team

Actress Reese Witherspoon, NFL star Derrick Henry and a Republican senator's 4 children are now all minority owners of Nashville's MLS soccer team

Brent D. Griffiths,Warren Rojas,Dave Levinthal   

Actress Reese Witherspoon, NFL star Derrick Henry and a Republican senator's 4 children are now all minority owners of Nashville's MLS soccer team
PoliticsPolitics3 min read
  • Bill Hagerty disclosed that each of his four children now own a stake in Nashville's MLS team.
  • Hagerty told Insider that buying into professional sports runs in the family.

Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty's four dependent children have become minority owners of Nashville SC, Tennessee's Major League Soccer club, according to a financial filing disclosed by Hagerty's office.

Each of their stakes in Nashville Soccer Holdings LLC is estimated between $1 million and $5 million and effective February 28, according to the disclosure. The exact size of the Hagerty children's shares is not entirely clear, as federal law only requires senators to disclose broad ranges of their own and their families' financial assets.

The Tennessee Republican said buying into professional sports runs in the family.

"I've been involved in soccer for a long time," he told Insider steps from the Senate chamber.

It runs in more than just the Hagerty family now, too.

Weeks after Insider first reported the Hagerty children's investments, the soccer club announced that Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry have also become minority owners. Henry joins a growing group of NFL players that hold a stake in an MLS team, including Super Bowl champion and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Hagerty said he's not personally involved in the Nashville SC investment.

"My family is," he said of the delineation.

He did not, however, close the door to buying his own stake in Nashville SC — or some other sports franchise — later on.

"I'm not sure where my investment portfolio will go over the coming years," Hagerty said.

Hagerty's office told Insider that three of his four children are minors and that none of the stakes come with any "managerial control."

"All of these assets are passive, meaning they involve no managerial control, and held in trusts that are administered by a third-party trustee," Hagerty spokesman Judd Deere wrote in an email.

Like other professional leagues, the MLS has at times lobbied Congress.

According to a January 2021 disclosure, the soccer league was lobbying on a bipartisan immigration proposal that passed both the House and Senate. The Senate significantly amended the bill, which has left its future uncertain.

Hagerty's office said he has prioritized "strict compliance" with Senate ethics rules and guidance on potential conflicts of interest and he "will continue to do so, including with respect to any investments relating to his children."

Soccer and politics

Nashville SC's lead investor is John Ingram, a businessman who has made significant contributions to Republican political interests, including committees that benefit Hagerty's campaign, according to an analysis by USA Today and the Nashville Tennessean.

Hagerty himself was intimately involved in the effort to bring professional soccer to Tennessee.

In 2016, Hagerty told the Tennessean that he was "engaged in discussions" to support a "high-level" team after a separate ownership group was involved with the United Soccer League. Nashville SC plays under the same name as the now-defunct USL team.

MLS, America's top professional soccer league, awarded Nashville an expansion team in 2017.

President Donald Trump named Hagerty his ambassador to Japan in 2017. Hagerty, who has also led Tennessee's economic development department, won his Senate seat in 2020, replacing retiring Republican, Lamar Alexander.

The MLS league office did not respond to Insider in time for publication. A representative for Nashville SC responded to Insider after publication.

The investment by Hagerty's dependent children comes at a moment when Congress is actively considering restrictions on how lawmakers — and potentially their immediate family members — may purchase individual stocks or otherwise invest their personal assets.

Lawmakers' interest in pursuing stock trading and investment reforms deepened after Insider's "Conflicted Congress" project in December found that dozens of lawmakers, and at least 182 senior congressional staffers, had failed to comply with the reporting requirements of the STOCK Act.

"Conflicted Congress" also found numerous examples of conflicts of interest, including that four members of Congress or their spouses have either currently or recently invested money in Russian companies at a time when Russia has invaded Ukraine.

This article was originally published on March 29 and updated to reflect additional Nashville SC investors.

READ MORE ARTICLES ON




Advertisement