Canadian Athletes: Professional

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Additional Athletes

Unfortunately, we only found one player, Auston Matthews, who had over 400,000 likes on social media. This is probably because elite athletes tend to be very busy and hardly engage on social media as is shown by their frequency in posting and low engagement on their platforms.
The attached spreadsheet has detailed information on our findings.

OTTAWA SENATORS

RYAN CALLAHAN
  • 26.9K Twitter followers.
  • His posts on Twitter are inconsistent and he doesn't engage with fans on the platform.
BRADY TKACHUK
  • 46.1K Instagram followers.
  • His posts on Instagram are inconsistent and he doesn't engage on the platform.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

PONTUS ABERG
KENNY AGOSTINO
AUSTON MATTHEWS
  • 539K Instagram followers.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We kicked off this research by searching for the official Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs list to get an additional set of players. After counter checking that we were not duplicating any athletes, we went ahead and scoured their social media in order to know the number of followers each player has. Unfortunately, we only found one player, Auston Matthews, who had over 400,000 likes on social media. This is probably because elite athletes tend to be very busy training and hardly engage on social media as is shown by their frequency in posting and low engagement on their platforms. We therefore used the social media platform which the athletes were most active. We then sought to find out if they are involved in any youth training activities in Canada by searching the local newspapers, sports magazines and any interviews they had attended.

Part
02
of three
Part
02

Vegan/Plant Based Athlete Audit Part 1

After scrutinizing numerous reports and social media channels, along with other credible sources, it does not appear that any of the athletes listed in rows 3 through 22 of the attached spreadsheet actively promotes a vegan/plant based diet that excludes dairy or meat.

Chris Tierney

  • Although Chris Tierney consumed some vegan meals as part of his diet during training, he does not mention eating vegan meals exclusively nor is there evidence that he promotes a vegan/plant based diet.
  • He removed diary and eggs from his diet during training.
  • In May 2019, he posted a promotion of McDonald's on his Twitter account.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau

  • It does not appear that Jean-Gabriel Pageau promotes a vegan/plant based diet that excludes dairy or meat. In 2017, he mentioned thinking that he ate too much chicken parm prior to a game.
  • Neither his Twitter nor his Instagram account contains any mention of a vegan/plant based diet.

Ryan Callahan

  • There are no media mentions of Ryan Callahan supporting a vegan/plant based diet. He has even retweeted an image from the Tampa Bay Lightning's Twitter account of him holding a chicken fajita with bacon and cheese.

Zach Hyman

  • In an article published on Kids Help Phone, Zach Hyman mentions that he consumes as many vegetables and fruits as possible. However, he does not promote a vegan/plant based diet without meat or dairy.
  • During a recent interview with the Toronto Sun, he states that his favorite foods are pasta, hamburgers, and pizza.

Mitchell Marner

Alexander Kerfoot

  • Although Alexander Kerfoot mentions that he frequently dines at True Food Kitchen, he does not appear to explicitly promote a vegan/plant based diet excluding dairy or meat. Additionally, his social media accounts do not have any advertisements/promotions for True Food Kitchen or any other organization or diet.
  • True Food Kitchen's menu contains both vegetarian and vegan options.

William Nylander

According to our research, William Nylander is not a promoter of a vegan/plant based diet. On his Instagram account, Nylander recently posted a photo of him proudly eating a slice of prosciutto.

Research Strategy:

To determine if any of the athletes listed in the spreadsheet promotes a vegan/plant based diet that excludes dairy or meat, we first searched for reports or articles involving them. Our sources included Mercury News, the Toronto Sun, etc. We also searched for press releases on the National Hockey League website involving the specified athletes. Our objective was to find any media mentions of whether the athlete were vegan or adhered by a plant-based diet or entered into a partnership/collaboration with entities that specialize in vegan/plant based meals, as well as those whose products contain meat, dairy, or eggs. Using this research strategy, we could not locate reports or articles stating that they promote/support a vegan/plant based diet.

Afterward, we searched for interviews with the athletes, hoping that they would reveal their diet. For some of the players, we were able to find interviews conducted with sources such as Sports Net, the Toronto Sun, and the National Post confirming that they have not adopted a vegan/plant based lifestyle. In those interviews, the players listed some of their favorite meals, which primarily contained meat, dairy, or eggs.

Finally, we scrutinized the social media accounts of the athletes to see if they have posted any promotions for vegan/plant based products or groups that market such products. We visited their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts for this information. While reviewing their social media channels, we also checked for pictures of them with food items that usually contain meat, eggs, or dairy. With this approach, we were able to confirm that none of the Canadian athletes listed in rows 3 through 22 of the attached spreadsheet promote a vegan/plant based diet that excludes dairy or meat.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Vegan/Plant Based Athlete Audit Part 2

While there is no publicly available information to fully answer the question, we've used the available data to pull together key findings: Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele is the only known Canadian athlete in the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), or National Basketball League (NBA) who has promoted a vegan or plant-based diet. None of the athletes listed in rows 23-44 of the attached spreadsheet have promoted a vegan/plant-based diet that excludes dairy or meat, and most of the articles on these athletes focused on the sporting aspects of their lives. Below is an outline of our research strategies to better understand why the information requested is publicly unavailable, as well as a deep dive into our findings.

HELPFUL FINDINGS

  • Mark Scheifele, a Canadian hockey player in the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, usually eats “more seasonal, plant-based food in the warmer summer months.”
  • Zdeno Chara, a Slovak hockey player in the NHL’s Boston Bruins, has “credited his plant-based diet to his improved performance on the ice.”
  • Lee Nguyen, an American soccer player in the MLS’s Los Angeles FC, has identified himself as a vegan.
  • Vegans in the NBA include Jahlil Okafor, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, and others.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews has mentioned that Jacobs Steakhouse is one of his favorite restaurants in Toronto, which implied that he does not promote a vegan/plant-based diet.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began this research by conducting a media search to determine whether the athlete listed in rows 23-44 of the attached spreadsheet have promoted a vegan/plant-based diet that excludes dairy or meat. Articles that talked about Garrett Wilson, Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci, Ben Harpur, Morgan Rielly, Pontus Aberg, Kenny Agostino, Aidan Daniels, Chris Boucher, Jacob Shaffelburg, Jay Chapman, Jordan Hamilton, Julian Dunn, Noble Okello, and Ryan Telfer focused on transfer news and performance reviews only. Interviews that featured Travis Dermott, Jake Muzzin, Ashtone Morgan, Jonathan Osorio, Liam Fraser, and Richie Laryea contained information about their professional career and/or family, but not their dietary habits. Among the athletes examined, Auston Matthews is the only one who has talked about food. He has stated that Jacobs Steakhouse is one of his favorite restaurants in Toronto. We have determined that Matthews is not a vegan or supporter of a plant-based diet.
Next, we examined the social media pages for each athlete to check if they have provided information on their dietary habits. Morgan is the only athlete who has posted food-related content. We have assumed that the pizza mentioned on his Instagram account is not vegan or plant-based. The social media pages for every athlete examined are dominated by posts related to their professional career. Barrie and Ceci have also posted pictures of their dogs, while Harpur, Aberg, and others have also posted content that talked about their family.
Lastly, we examined some of the organizations in Canada that promote a vegan/plant-based diet such as Vegan Option Canada, Vegan Society of Canada, and Plant-Based Foods of Canada to check if any of the athletes are known supporters. We have assumed that there may be a possibility of athletes supporting such organizations in a low-profile way where they chose not to talk about it in the public media or their personal social media pages. However, an examination of the websites and social media pages of the selected Canada-based organizations that promote a vegan/plant-based diet did not reveal any endorsements by athletes.
We have determined that there is no information in the public domain on whether the athlete listed in rows 23-44 of the attached spreadsheet have promoted a vegan/plant-based diet that excludes dairy or meat. Only Matthews could be considered a “celebrity” athlete who regularly provides interviews on his professional career and other topics such as food and family. Based on the interviews that he has provided, we have concluded that he is not a vegan or plant-based diet supporter. The rest of the athletes examined have provided a limited number of interviews that did not feature their dietary habits or have not provided any interviews with the media. A general press search has revealed that there are other athletes in the NHL, MLS, or NBA who are vegans or supporters of a plant-based diet. However, only one of the athletes identified is Canadian (Mark Scheifele).
Sources
Sources

From Part 03