Vegan Athletes

NBA Superstar John Salley says that ‘smart athletes’ will be vegan

An athlete's body is like a high octane machine

John Salley is a four time NBA champion who has played 12 seasons in the NBA. This committed vegan in an interview with Yahoo yesterday has opined that any smart athlete who wants to be at the top of his or her sport needs to be a vegan. 

“I think the smart athlete realizes that his body is the commodity,” says the retired basketball player. “The one who sits around and feels, ‘I can perform at this high level, and then I’m going to go to a steakhouse and sit next to somebody who was in the stands, and eat the same food and be able to perform,’ you can’t do that.”

Urging fellow athletes to understand the importance of a vegan diet, Salley compared a professional athlete’s body to a finely tuned racing car.

“You’re never going to see an IndyCar on the street, because an IndyCar is a high octane machine. You’re not going to put leaded gas in that car. You’re not going to let somebody get in and eat fries and a bad burger in that car. So when athletes start realizing that they should treat their body like high-octane race cars, they will then do that. And there will be less injuries, and they’ll be able to last longer.”

An early investor in Beyond Meat, Salley is an evangelist for the company and plans to appear at a Washington DC event soon to promote the company’s new sausage. 

You don’t have to be a wimp to be a vegan

“I want to let everyone know you don’t have to be a wimp” to switch to a plant-based diet says the sporting superstar who identifies as being on a mission to promote such a clean living diet. “It tastes as good as the stuff that they told you was good for you. Now you have something that is a good product and the same taste, but no animals have to die. I’m an advocate for life.”

The wellness entrepreneur and host of the former Fox Sports Net show The Best Damn Sports Show Period details the significance of his dietary change on his website changing his life. 

His doctor told him his eating habits were killing him so he gave up his cholesterol lowering medications and adopted a plant-based diet in its place. 

“My message I want everybody to know is: Eat a plant-based diet, or don’t. A plant-based diet keeps you alive, the other diet keeps you in the hospital.”

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Nicholas Orosz

Nicholas is a former City solicitor and Cambridge graduate. He has a long-standing interest in health & nutrition, the environmental movement, green politics & digital publishing. He has always loved crafting words. His transition to a vegan perspective has been gradual and an ongoing process of self-discovery. Contact:

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