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Joey Chestnut breaks his silence on being ‘BANNED’ from the July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut released a statement on social media after being named the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July.

Reports indicate that Chestnut was banned from competing after accepting a sponsorship with vegan hot dog manufacturer Impossible Foods.

In the statement, Chestnut said he has been “banned” from the competition where he became an international name.

“I was upset to hear from the media that after 19 years I have been excluded from the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July,” Chestnut said in a post on Twitter.

“I love competing in that event, I love celebrating America with my fans in this great country on the 4th and I’ve been training to defend my title.

American competitive eater Joey Chestnut says he was banned from the Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island this summer due to his sponsorship of a vegan rival

‘To set the record straight, I have no contract with MLE or Nathans and they want to change the rules of recent years when it comes to other partners I can work with.

“This is apparently the basis on which I am being banned, and it has no bearing on the 4th of July event.

“Unfortunately, this is the decision Nathan’s and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive our fans of the usual joy and entertainment of the holidays.

‘To my fans: I love and appreciate you. Don’t worry, you’ll see me eating again soon!! STAY HUNGRY!’

Chestnut’s belief that he has been banned was not what Richard Shea of ​​Major League Eating reported NBC News.

‘There is no ban. Major League Eating wants him there. The fans want him there. Nathan wants him there,” Shea said.

“We are devastated to learn that Joey Chestnut has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs rather than participate in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest,” read a statement from Major League Eating (MLE). , which sanctions the event.

“MLE and Nathan have gone to great lengths to accommodate Joey and his management team, agreeing to pay the appearance fee and allowing Joey to participate in a rival, unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day.

Chestnut has won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 16 times, including in 2023, a record

Chestnut has won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest 16 times, including in 2023, a record

“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, which he has dominated for years. We hope he returns if he is not representing a rival brand.”

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A source told the newspaper New York Post that Chestnut was paid $200,000 to appear at last year’s game, and that he was even offered a four-year, $1.2 million deal starting this year.

Ultimately, Chestnut felt compelled to honor its unspecified agreement with Impossible Foods.

Chestnut has been eating competitively since 2005 and has been devouring the competition ever since. He has won this competition a record 16 times and is the reigning champion.

His record of 76 hot dogs eaten during the 2021 Nathan’s competition remains the most competitive eaten in the world.

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