Championship Eater Breaks Silence After Being Banned From 2024 Competition

Joey Chestnut, the face of competitive eating, was banned from the July 4 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Competition. This shocking news was reported by Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post. Chestnut, a 16-time champion, said he was "gutted" by the decision.

Chestnut took to social media to express his deep disappointment. He explained the situation from his perspective and why he couldn't compete.

Known for his record-breaking feats, Chestnut set the bar high with 76 hot dogs in 2021. He defended his title last year with 62 hot dogs and buns. He shared he was "training to defend my title" in his posts.

According to Cuozzo, a representative of Major League Eating (MLE) said they "bent over backwards" to meet Chestnut's demands. MLE even let him compete in a rival Labor Day event without specifying a hot dog brand.

But partnering with Impossible Foods, which offers a plant-based hot dog, crossed a line. Despite Nathan's offering him a four-year, $1.2 million contract, the partnership was too controversial.

"He's the Michael Jordan of competitive eating," a source told Cuozzo. "Imagine if Michael Jordan said to Nike, 'I love being the face of Nike, but I want to do commercials for Adidas too.'"

MLE said they would welcome Chestnut back if he drops the rival deal. "Joey Chestnut is an American hero," they stated. "We would love nothing more than to have him at Nathan's. We hope he returns when he's not representing a rival brand."