Cam Newton’s vegan diet blamed for struggles: Can the Panthers force a change?

Critics cited the Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton the recent switch to a vegan diet as a potential cause of his injury and bad play issues this season, but team executives would have little recourse even if they found he was responsible.

After a dismal 0-2 start to the season in which Newton failed to score a touchdown, the longtime Panthers star revealed in a video article last Friday that he hid the severity of an injury to the left foot and would not return to the field until he was fully healed. The injury immediately sparked speculation from the Panthers’ hometown newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, as to whether Newton’s vegan lifestyle had exacerbated the situation.

“There is nothing in the collective agreement or player’s uniform contract that comes close to regulating a player’s diet,” Michael LeRoy, sports labor law expert and professor at the FOX Business, told FOX Business. ‘University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “In the ABC, there is a contractual article for meal allowances when a team travels. There is no restriction.

NFL teams are investing heavily in training staff, nutritionists and chefs to ensure players have access to all the foods and nutrients they need to be successful during a multi-month season. However, franchises cannot interfere with a player’s personal food choices, LeRoy said.

Newton, who announced in a video last March that he had adopted a vegan menu in order to lose weight to 235 pounds, is the latest of countless NFL players and athletes to take a close look at their diet. When quarterback Colin Kaepernick became a free agent after a 2017 season in which he led the national anthem protests, a report from NBC Sports Bay Area suggested that teams were skeptical of his commitment to football in part because of his vegan diet.

Other top NFL players to go vegans include Professional Football Hall of Fame inductee Tony Gonzalez and at least 11 members of the 2017 Tennessee Titans.

A group of sports nutritionists, dieticians and sports trainers told the Observer that a switch to veganism could impact Newton’s intake of vital protein and calories, which could, in theory, affect its ability to recover.

“Go back to 2015 Cam, bada– Cam. He was a pescatarian, ”Chris Howard, a certified local nutritionist and strength and conditioning trainer, told the newspaper. “Salmon, shrimp, you get a lot of good fat and complete protein. In reality, [fish] is one of the best sources of protein there is. “

“Now you take away the most valuable part of it (diet), and … there’s just no way around it: it can’t recover as well with fewer nutrients, with fewer calories, and with less.” muscle mass. It just won’t happen, ”Howard added.

While NFL teams can’t regulate their players’ eating habits, they can seek to get them to play with a certain weight. Famous Seattle Seahawks included bonuses offered to former running back Eddie Lacy if he was able to hit some weight loss goals.


Other than that, each player’s eating habits are their own.

“Whether a player eats only organic vegetables or loads up on milkshakes, the contract pays per diems for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” LeRoy added. “The player’s uniform contract contains vague language about full disclosure of“ any physical or mental condition of which he is aware that could adversely affect his performance under this contract. ”A diet is not a physical or mental condition, therefore Newton’s diet does not appear to be involved here.

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