Joey Chestnut kicked out of Nathan's contest for endorsing plant-based hot dogs

Competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut has been disqualified from the upcoming Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, an event he has won an impressive 16 times. The decision was made by Major League Eating (MLE), the governing body of the competition, due to Chestnut's decision to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs, violating "hot dog exclusivity provisions" that have been in place for nearly two decades.

Chestnut, 40, expressed disappointment in a statement posted on social media, stating that he was unaware of the ban and had been training to defend his title. He clarified that he does not have a contract with MLE or Nathan's, and that they are attempting to change the rules regarding his partnerships with other brands.

In response, Impossible Foods, the plant-based hot dog brand that Chestnut is now representing, expressed support for him and defended his decision to try a new product. They emphasized that meat eaters should not be limited to just one type of hot dog.

On the other hand, MLE argued that they had paid Chestnut to compete for over a decade and that he had agreed not to promote rival hot dog brands. They questioned the logic of paying an appearance fee to someone who would then endorse a competitor immediately afterwards.

Nathan's Famous, the sponsor of the hot dog eating contest, has not yet commented on the situation. Despite the ban, Chestnut reassured his fans that they will see him eating again soon.

The conflict between Chestnut and MLE highlights the complex dynamics of competitive eating competitions and the challenges that arise when athletes have partnerships with multiple brands. The outcome of this dispute remains uncertain as both sides stand by their positions.


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