NBA all-star Kevin Durant has become the latest big name to become an investor in an MLS franchise, with the news that the Brooklyn Nets forward has purchased a five percent ownership stake with the option to purchase an additional five percent in the near future.

Durant, a 10-time NBA All-Star and former league MVP, joins Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as investors in MLS teams. The deal includes an expanded partnership with Durant and sports business executive Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures. The aim of the move is to develop community programs in Chester, Pennsylvania, home of the Union’s Subaru Park, to address racial and social injustice as well as recovery efforts from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking of the deal in a statement, Durant said: “I’m excited to partner with the Philadelphia Union for years to come. My team and I connected instantly with the Union coaching staff and leadership, as well as the team’s story. Off the pitch, I’m looking forward to working in the Chester and Philadelphia communities and making an impact in the same way that the KDCF has been able to in my hometown of Prince George's County.

I’ve always been a soccer fan and have wanted to get into it in a meaningful way. While you won’t get to see me at games for now, my team and I will be taking an active role in the community where I can help give back to Chester [Pennsylvania] and Philadelphia.

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Jay Sugarman, principal owner of the Union, said: The partnership between Kevin and the Philadelphia Union is based on a set of shared values and philosophies. We want to be known as an innovator in our league and a team that is never satisfied with the status quo. Kevin brings us unique perspectives as a person, as a champion and as a sports icon. His work with the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation has shown he has a community-first mindset that resonates with our club’s DNA. Combined with his competitive drive and forward-thinking mentality, we believe Kevin adds a key piece in reaching our ambitions for the club.

Philadelphia entered MLS as an expansion team in 2010, and they’re coming off their most-successful season to date with 55 points and their first home playoff win.

The MLS is set to return next month with a unique tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World in Florida.