Former University of Michigan Wolverines football player Greg Skrepenak recently went vegan after following the advice of fellow ex-teammate Marc Ramirez. “He’s been on me for the last three or four years to get on this whole-foods, plant-based diet,” Skrepenak said. The 46-year-old—who went on to play professional football for the Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers—has struggled with his eating habits and weight since retiring from football and was recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, which can lead to heart failure. Skrepenak was inspired by Ramirez’ weight loss journey and reversal of type-2 diabetes: “I’ve been extremely pleased and kind of shocked by some of what’s been going on, and Marc has been there every step of the way.” Other vegan football players—such as David Carter, Tyrann Mathieu, and Griff Whalen—are actively disproving the myth that athletes need to eat meat to play.
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