Dan Borislow, a wealthy entrepreneur best known for his association with women's professional soccer in America, passed away last night due to a heart attack he suffered while playing pick-up soccer. He was 52 years old, and is survived by his wife, Michelle, and his two children, Danny and Kylie.
Borislow was a controversial figure in the sports world who, after purchasing the Washington Freedom of the now-defunct Women's Professional Soccer league in 2011, quickly moved the team to Boca Raton, FL, and changed their name to magicJack, a shared title with the telecom company Borislow originally founded. The team boasted some of the league's most recognizable names: Hope Solo, Abby Wambach, Christine Rampone, Shannon Boxx and Meghan Rapinoe, who all captured America's attention during their famous World Cup run with the USWNT in 2011.
Unfortunately, the team failed to live up to its talent due to an apparent lack of interest on Borislow's part in marketing the team or, inexplicably, creating a front office for the franchise. Additionally, a lengthy profile of Borislow in 2012, authored by Shaun Assael and Peter Keating of ESPN The Magazine, revealed some rather inappropriate business behavior by Borislow. Said the article:
According to some of the players present, Borislow leaned into one woman and asked about her roommate: "Which one of you is the giver and which one is the receiver?" he blurted out. Then he turned to another player and asked, "Why have you never had a sexual relationship with a woman?"
A few of the women laughed -- either because they thought he was amusing or because they were supremely uncomfortable.
Shortly after that dinner, one of his new recruits found herself confused about what to call her employer: Dan? Mr. Borislow? Boss? Coach? His reply says a lot about the man who can make or break professional women's soccer in America.
"Call me Daddy," he replied.
Borislow, who was once looked at as a savior of the WPS, was soon ousted by the league in 2011, and the magicJack were disbanded shortly thereafter. However, due to substantial legal issues the WPS still faced with Borislow, the league was forced to suspend its regular season action in 2012. On May 8, 2012, it was announced that the WPS had officially folded.