Jahlil Okafor Gushes Over Benefits of Vegan Eating With NBA Champ John Salley

Athletes Break Bread in New PETA Video

For Immediate Release:
December 14, 2017

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

New York

Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor went vegan earlier this year while recovering from a knee injury—and now, he’s singing the praises of his new way of eating in a new PETA video with four-time NBA champion and longtime vegan John Salley as the two share a meal at Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia, where Okafor previously played for the 76ers.

“I just kept getting hurt. My knee was always inflamed. … I cut out dairy, watched a few documentaries. Then I cut out steak, cut out chicken, and gradually started cutting out everything animal-based,” begins Okafor, who says that his game has never been better. “I’m just a lot faster, quicker. Pressure is off my knees.”

And now, he’s trying to convert his teammates: “I’m just trying to educate them, and they’ve been able to see the changes I’ve made in just three or four months of being vegan. The documentary called What the Health was one of the things that helped me become vegan. But most of the guys are … afraid of the truth.”

Salley experienced similar pushback at the start, but he jokes that he’s healthier now than most retired athletes, saying, “I found out that most NBA players die of heart attack[s] or heart complications. You can’t have all that animal fat in your veins. … My cholesterol is gone, I have no blockages in my veins, my libido is where it needs to be, my skin doesn’t have any bumps on it. I got a couple of wrinkles, but that’s because I like cognac.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that every person who goes vegan spares more than 100 animals a year daily suffering and a terrifying death in today’s meat, egg, and dairy industries. And the United Nations has concluded that vegan eating is the most effective way to combat the worst effects of climate change.

Salley and Okafor are part of a growing group of plant-powered athletes, including Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Wilson Chandler, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Adrian Peterson, and many others.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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