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Star-Spangled Shocker: Westfield’s Joey Chestnut banned over vegan franks

Joey Chestnut out of July Fourth hot-dog eating contest

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who was once said to have had his victories “transcribed into every language known to history, including Klingon,” has been banned from this year’s annual July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition, according to The New York Post.

The 16-time hot dog eating champion reportedly signed an endorsement deal with Impossible Foods, a vegan food company that recently launched a vegan frankfurter made from plants.

Chestnut, who lives in Westfield, has won the Nathan’s event every year since 2016 and holds the record with 76 dogs, which he woofed down in 2021.

Major League Eating, the company that puts on the Nathan’s contest said in a statement

“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 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 brand over our long-time relationship. 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.  We hope he returns when he is not representing a rival brand.”

Chestnut reportedly signed a $1.2 million four-year deal with Impossible. He was paid $200,000 for his appearance at the Nathan’s contest in 2023, according to the New York Post.

No word as to who will be Chestnut’s heir-apparent.