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Joey Chestnut: Sponsor conflict keeping Joey Chestnut out of hot dog eating ...

British GP: F1...
Published Time: 13.06.2024 - 05:04:14 Modified Time: 13.06.2024 - 05:04:14

Impossible Foods told ESPN that they support Chestnut "in any contest he chooses" and that "meat eaters shouldn't have to be exclusive to just one wiener." Joey Chestnut



Rich Shea, co-founder of Major League Eating, discusses how Joey Chestnut being barred from Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is a "brand issue." (1:05)

"It would be like Michael Jordan saying to Nike, 'I'm going to represent Adidas, too,'" MLE event organizer George Shea said.

Joey Chestnut won his eighth consecutive Mustard Belt -- and 16th overall -- after downing 62 franks and buns in 10 minutes last year at the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Chestnut, in turn, issued his own statement on X, saying he is "gutted" to find out that he wouldn't be able to compete.

"I love competing in that event, I love celebrating America with my fans all over this great country on the 4th and I have been training to defend my title," Chestnut said in his post. "... Sadly, this is the decision Nathan's and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive the great fans of the holiday's usual joy and entertainment."

Impossible Foods told ESPN that they support Chestnut "in any contest he chooses" and that "meat eaters shouldn't have to be exclusive to just one wiener."

Major League Eating said in a statement that it was "devastated" to find out that Chestnut "has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs."

"MLE and Nathan's went to great lengths in recent months 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," MLE said in its statement. "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-time relationship."

In his post, Chestnut said he doesn't have a contract with MLE or Nathan's, and "they are looking to change the rules from past years as it related to other partners I can work with."

The contributed to this report.

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