Back before Colin Kaepernick became the subject of national controversy for his decision not to stand during the playing of the National Anthem last season, he made another controversial decision that appears to be costing him in NFL front offices: He decided to go vegan.
Like Kap's choice not to rise when the Star Spangled Banner played, the then-San Francisco quarterback's veganism did not go unnoticed. Kaepernick showed up at 49ers camp looking noticeably skinnier. It was true that he was coming off shoulder surgery, which prevented him from doing much upper-body work and caused him to lose some of his muscle mass. But still, the dude looked very skinny compared to the beastly version of himself he'd shown STACK at a 2014 cover shoot.
By the numbers, Kaepernick's physique change doesn't seem so drastic. At that 2014 shoot, Kap weighed in at 233 pounds. He's now listed at 219. Still, one could be excused for doing a double-take.
Around the time the above photo was taken, Kaepernick told the San Francisco 49ers media that he went to a vegan diet over the off-season. Which means that by now he's been following it for nearly two years. His girlfriend, Nessa Diab, who hosts a national radio show and appears on MTV's Girl Code, talked about the couple's decision to switch up their diet.
"He's also a vegan with me," Diab said about Kaepernick. "We did it together. Because we feel like, it's true that, I guess, the more animal products you eat and stuff like that, your body becomes more acidic, which allows more diseases to basically breed within you. So the more alkaline state that your body is in, the less likely you are to get some type of disease. The more alkaline, the better you are health-wise, supposedly."
Kaepernick's decision to go vegan, and the changes in his body that have resulted, aren't totally outlandish among NFL quarterbacks. None other than Tom Brady spends much of the year following a vegan diet, and he he has gotten thinner over his career. But he's also won five Super Bowls. Kaepernick, meanwhile, has strung together disappointing season after disappointing season since his appearance in Super Bowl 47. That, combined with the controversy surrounding him, and his reported desire to earn around $9-10 million next season, may keep him out of an NFL uniform for now.