Kyrie Irving to Star in Commercial for Vegan Burgers
The food company is set to announce partnerships with NBA players that regularly enjoy the brand’s Beyond Burger after games, including Irving. The Celtics point guard has previously sported Beyond Meat merchandise on the court.
The California-based company makes burger patties, sausages, and chicken strips out of pea protein. Its Beyond Burger is said to look, cook, and taste like conventional beef and even “bleeds,” thanks to the use of beet juice.
The contact with Beyond Meat began when Irving mentioned his new vegan diet, which he adopted during the 2017 off season, in an interview. The food brand reached out and offered to send him samples.
“I was noticing that I wasn’t able to recover as fast after games and workouts,” he said. “I did a lot of research and learned that my diet could be a factor.”
The change improved his performance, according to the athlete himself. Speaking to NBA Countdown, Irving said he “had to get away” from animal products. “So my energy is up. My body feels amazing,” the 26-year-old said.
Irving later advertised the benefits of plant-based eating in a commercial for Nike. In the ad, the basketball player is shown dribbling a ball around a court and making an impressive shot. “How’d you do that?” someone asks. Irving responds, “Simple. Plant-based diet.”
Athletes Inspiring Change
Including plant-powered athletes in campaigns could prove largely beneficial in getting people to leave meat off their plates.
“They have the power to change the world,” Beyond Meat’s CEO Ethan Brown said to the LA Times. “I don’t know if they really feel that way yet, but it’s true. They have the opportunity to influence an entire generation of kids to eat healthier and help save the environment.”
NBA star JaVale McGee, of the Golden State Warriors, has credited a plant-based diet for his improved athletic performance. Promising NBA candidate Michael Porter Jr. ditched animal products to heal his back injury, whilst Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard dropped 10 pounds by going vegan.