Trent Williams, a 320-pound left tackle for the American Football team the Washington Redskins, has adopted a vegan diet after watching What the Health.
July is the offseason for NFL players but that doesn’t mean that they stop working. Training is a huge component of the offseason for players in this competitive league and the Redskins offensive line was one of the most successful in the 2016 season.
The job of the offensive line in an American Football game is to block the other team from getting to the player who has the football, usually the quarterback, allowing their team to advance up the field towards the red zone and score a touchdown. Trust in the o-line is paramount to success and Williams invited all 15 Redskin’s linemen to his offseason home to train together.
Ten of his teammates turned up for his offseason optional training. It has been long accepted that quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will work together in the offseason to build essential bonds of trust, which take their game to the next level, but o-line players have not traditionally done this. The fitness retreat complied of gruelling exercises including bear crawls, bench presses and inclined sprints as well as shared meals and essential bonding before the start of the season in September.
Trent Williams, who recently watched What the Health, decided to cut out animal products from his diet and his offensive lineman teammate, Arie Kouandjio, has also gone completely vegan after watching the documentary. Williams has also convinced guard Isiah Williams to commit to a pescatarian diet.
“I’m bettering my life,” Williams said. “I ain’t [expletive] with that animal product no more.”
Williams is worried that he may lose weight on the vegan diet and has said that he will assess his choice after the first few days of practice. The best NFL offensive linemen are generally over 300 pounds and at 320 pounds, Williams does not want to lose any of his mass. In the past, linemen put on weight through eating fast food like burgers and hot dogs eaten with a few bottles of beer. However, times have changed and more and more athletes are looking to plants to provide the diet to fuel their training.
Williams and Kouandjio are not the first players in the NFL to switch to a vegan diet. In 2014 David Carter, a defensive lineman (the player trying to get to the ball from the player with possession), went vegan and had managed to maintain his 300 pound weight whilst recovering from injury more quickly and increasing his athleticism. Many other names in the NFL have been linked to vegan diets including Colin Keapernick, Tyrann Mathieu, Tom Brady and Griff Whalen.