Joey Chestnut Banned For Going Meatless

Joey Chestnut Banned For Going Meatless

Joey Chestnut, the renowned competitive eater and 16-time champion of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, has been unexpectedly barred from participating in the 2024 event. The ban comes as a result of Chestnut’s recent partnership with Impossible Foods, a company that produces plant-based hot dogs. This move has led to a conflict with the event organizers sponsored by Nathan’s Hot Dogs, who have strict “hot dog exclusivity provisions” that prohibit competitors from representing rival brands. 

George Shea, an event organizer for the 4th of July hot dog contest, had this to say regarding Chestnut’s business decision. “It would be like Michael Jordan saying to Nike, ‘I am going to represent Adidas as well.’” 

In a statement from Major League Eating (MLE) which hosts the event, they were “devastated” to hear Chestnut has chosen to represent a rival brand. “MLE and Nathan’s went to great lengths to accommodate Joey and his management team, agreeing to the appearance fee and allowing Joey to compete in a rival unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day. 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 hot dog brand over our long-term relationship.”

It is important to note that Chestnut does not have any sort of contract with MLE or Nathan’s and Joey’s management team is making the claim that MLE is looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to partners Chestnut can work with. Chestnut expressed his disappointment on social media, calling himself “gutted” about missing the contest he has dominated for decades and currently holds a 9 event winning streak. 

Despite the setback, Chestnut remains a beloved figure in the competitive eating community and his fans eagerly await his return to the contest.

The ban has sparked discussions about brand partnerships and their impact on traditional events.  While Chestnut’s absence is sure to be felt at this year’s competition, it also opens the door for new contenders to step up and claim victory at this iconic American tradition.