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#pounditMonday, June 24, 2024

Joey Chestnut banned from Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Joey Chestnut yelling

Jul 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; American competitive eater Joey Chestnut ignited the smoke stacks before the game between New York City FC and Atlanta United at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Chestnut has become the unquestioned face of the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest over the past several years, but he will not be permitted to take part in the event this year.

Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post reported on Tuesday that Chestnut has been banned from participating in the 2024 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest because of the 40-year-old’s recent decision to sign an endorsement deal with vegan brand Impossible Foods.

A representative from Major League Eating (MLE), which runs the Nathan’s contest, said organizers did everything they could to have Chestnut compete in the event this year and try for a 17th victory. Chestnut was paid $200,000 to compete in the Hot Dog Eating contest last year. MLE had agreed to allow him to compete in a rival competition on Labor Day that will be taped by Netflix, as long as no hot dog brand was mentioned.

Cuozzo reports that Chestnut was offered a 4-year, $1.2 million contract to continue competing in the Nathan’s competition, but he will not be allowed after turning the deal down and signing with Impossible Foods instead.

“For nearly two decades we have worked under the same basic hot dog exclusivity provisions. However, it seems that Joey and his managers have prioritized a new partnership with a different brand over our long-time relationship,” MLE said in a statement.

“Joey Chestnut is an American hero. We would love nothing more than to have him at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. We hope he returns when he is not representing a rival brand.”

Chestnut has won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest 16 times. He has been the winner of the 4th of July event every year since 2016 and ate a world record 76 hot dogs and buns in 2021.

Last year, Chestnut exerted his influence and endeared himself to fans even further when he refused to allow the contest to be canceled due to bad weather. In 2022, Chestnut put a protestor in a chokehold and slammed the guy to the ground in the middle of the contest.

Without Chestnut, many fans probably won’t even bother to watch this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

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