Competitive Eater Joey Chestnut Banned From Famous Contest He Has Won 16 Times

Bobby Bank / Getty Images

Joey Chestnut is a widely-known competitive eater and is considered the greatest eater in history.

He has been a dominant force in the sport, winning numerous titles and setting multiple records across various food disciplines.

Joey Chestnut is also a 16-time champion of the renowned Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, winning the title every year since 2016. He even set a world record in 2021 by eating 76 hot dogs.

It’s safe to say he’s a dominant force in the annual competition of adult men rapidly consuming hot dogs.

Unfortunately, Chestnut has recently been banned from the cherished Coney Island tradition due to a new sponsorship deal he has.

According to the New York Post, a representative of Major League Eating (MLE), which Nathan’s authorized to organize the event, learned that Chestnut had partnered with a rival hot dog company—and not just any company.

Joey Chestnut has made a deal with a vegan brand that makes plant-based hot dogs, Impossible Foods.

MLE expressed their “devastation” over Chestnut’s decision to represent a rival brand over their long-time relationship.

“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.”

Although the organizers expressed disappointment in Chestnut’s choice, they have left the door open for him to return to the competition if he discontinues his sponsorship deal.

“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.”

Fans are excited to see who will take home the coveted crown during this year’s 4th of July hot dog eating contest.

One thing is known for now — it won’t be Joey Chestnut, sadly ending his sixteen-year run as the contest winner.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Defending champion Joey Chestnut (C) competes in the 2023 Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)
Bobby Bank / Getty Images)

The Post reported that an insider source revealed that they could possibly come to a resolution by July 4th, but it all depends on Chestnut.

“He’s the Michael Jordan of competitive eating. But imagine if Michael Jordan said to Nike, ‘I love being the face of Nike, but I want to do commercials for Adidas too.'”

Guess we’ll find out soon if Chestnut will return or is out for good.

RELATED: Competitive Eater Retires Due To Serious Health Issues: “I No Longer Feel Hunger”

Watch Joey Chestnut’s 16th Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest win in the video below.