Hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut made one wrong move that put him in a bad spot

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut became a national celebrity for scarfing down incredible quantities of hot dogs on the Fourth of July.

Now his career has been upended for a surprising reason. 

And hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut made one wrong move that put him in a bad spot. 

Joey Chestnut banned from the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest 

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut is like Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, and Tom Brady all rolled into one when it comes to shoving wieners down his throat.

Every year since 1972, usually on the Fourth of July, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition has been held in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Chestnut and Japanese eating sensation Takeru Kobayashi turned the competition into a televised event that is carried on the ESPN family of networks.

Audiences watched with a combination of shock and bemusement as contestants tried to cram down as many hot dogs as possible in 10 minutes.

Chestnut has won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition 16 of the last 17 years.

And he holds the world record for hot dogs eaten with 76 during the 2021 competition.

Major League Eating (MLE) – which runs the Nathan’s Competition – declared Chestnut “the greatest eater in history.”

He’s set 55 eating records, ranging from chicken fingers to pulled pork sandwiches.

But this year Chestnut won’t be in Brooklyn to defend his crown on national television.

He was banned from the competition because he inked an endorsement deal with Impossible Foods, which makes vegan hot dogs.

A spokesperson for MLE said that they tried to reach a deal with Chestnut but couldn’t come to an agreement.

Fourth of July hot dog contest rocked by vegan controversy 

A source told the New York Post that Chestnut was offered a $1.2 million deal for four years with the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition.

Nathan’s Hot Dogs frowns on the competitive eating legend sponsoring a rival vegan product.

“We are devastated to learn that Joey Chestnut has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs rather than competing in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest,” MLE said in a statement. 

Competing in the Nathan’s competition required a hot dog exclusivity agreement according to MLE. 

MLE called Chestnut an “American hero” and hoped that he would return to the competition. 

“He’s the Michael Jordan of competitive eating,” the source told the Post. “But imagine if Michael Jordan said to Nike, ‘I love being the face of Nike but I want to do commercials for Adidas too.”

Chestnut disputed MLE and Nathan’s story on social media.

“I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with,” Chestnut wrote. “This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th event.”

Now he and his Japanese rival, Takeru Kobayashi, will face off in a head-to-head hot dog eating competition on Labor Day streamed on Netflix.

One of the spectacles on the Fourth of July has come to a shocking end over a vegan hot dog endorsement and an undisclosed sum of money one would assume has to top more than $1.2 million.

*Renewed Right Official Polling*

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