It sounds like a workplace horror story: vitriolic, abusive emails, threats to destroy employees’ careers, rampant and obvious favoritism, personal insults from a domineering owner who is running the company into the ground. Well, that’s life at Women’s Professional Soccer club magicJack.
Dan Borislow made his fortune through telecommunications, and he sure likes to communicate. The owner of magicJack (renamed after he purchased the Washington Freedom) has come under fire for his abusive emails to players and creating a “hostile, oppressive, and intimidating work environment.” The WPS players’ Union has filed a grievance, while the league, which has lost 4 teams in three years, is trying to dissolve their ties with him.
Here’s a look into life under Borislaw:
- Moved his team from the Maryland SoccerPlex to the Florida Atlantic University Soccer Stadium. Under league rules, the FAU stadium is considered too small a venue.
- Named himself coach. Forced by league to abdicate since he neither had the required coaching license nor was on pace to get it within two years.
- magicJack FC has no ticketing, marketing, or communications staff. It has no official website, only this thing which we believe won the 1998 “Best of Geocities” award.
- Banned his team from twitter following a loss, threatened to fire any player using the social media service.
- Blew up at young players for shockingly, not being as good as veteran US Women’s National Team players.
Borislow is a notorious pusher of boundaries, and is fiercely defensive of himself and his assets. As an owner of thoroughbred racehorses, he took out a full page ad challenging a rival. He’s taken blogs that gave his little gadget a negative review to court (the suit was thrown out).
He’s boasted about betting millions on sports and had to sell off his racehorses after a dispute with the IRS. He’s been known to drive to practice in a custom-built vehicle that looks like something out of a Batman reboot. Almost nothing he has done is surprising in the slightest considering his background. It wouldn’t be wrong to wonder why WPS let him get involved, but with investment in the women’s professional game at a premium, they had little choice.
Here he is on a vehicle you’d expect him to be on, while his players are wondering why they have to pose in this photo instead of practicing: