John Salley—a former professional basketball player and four-time National Basketball Association championship winner—urged athletes to go vegan for optimal performance in a recent interview with Yahoo! Finance. Salley explained that he is an advocate for plant-based diets as a health measure for athletes and a vegan lifestyle to prevent harm to animals. “I think the smart athlete realizes that his body is the commodity,” Salley said. “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.” Salley compared elite athletes to race cars and argued that consuming improper fuel, such as animal products, leads to suboptimal results. Salley is an early investor in vegan brand Beyond Meat and aims to promote the company as it aligns with his ethical beliefs. “I want to let everyone know you don’t have to be a wimp [to go plant-based] or have a bad attitude about it, and it tastes as good as the stuff that they told you was good for you,” Salley said. “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.

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