Joey “Jaws” Chestnut to compete against soldiers after being disqualified for fake meat sponsor


Theresa Braine
New York Daily News
(TNS)

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, spurned by the organizers of Nathan’s Coney Island hot dog eating contest for endorsing plant-based vegan wieners, will take his dog-downing act to a military base in Texas next Thursday.

The world-famous competitive eater will inhale franks alongside four Army soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss, El Paso, in a five-minute contest as opposed to the normal 10-minute span of his customary Fourth of July contest.

But this time, he’ll compete to out-eat their combined total.

Chestnut’s winning streak in Nathan’s annual event had gone unbroken since 2015 and included a record-setting 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes during the 2021 contest.

However, the Indiana native learned earlier this month that his endorsement of plant-based meat maker Impossible Foods, whose products include hot dogs, disqualified him from competing when contest organizer Major League Eating said Chestnut couldn’t cut the mustard.

“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,” Major League Eating said in a social media statement.

READ MORE: Department of Defense approves $87 million grant to send soldiers lab-grown meat

Chestnut declared himself “gutted.”

He and main rival Takeru Kobayashi immediately scheduled their own chow-down smackdown to stream on Netflix over Labor Day.

Though Chestnut hopes to make it back to Coney Island one day, he said Major League Eating must show some contrition.

“I feel bullied,” he said. “If I’m ever going to work with them again, they’re going to have to apologize.”

Major League Eating intimated that the sponsorship issue may be off the table, and wished Chestnut “the best of luck” in El Paso.

For the Texas Independence Day event, roughly 15,000 people are expected, most of them soldiers and their families attending Fort Bliss’s annual “Pop Goes the Fort” festival.

With News Wire Services

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