Joey Chestnut Has Been Banned From Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2024

There's ongoing beef between Joey Chestnut and Nathan's, no "bun" intended.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Jun. 12 2024, Published 10:56 a.m. ET

Joey Chestnut in 2023
Source: Getty Images

Summer is just about upon us and means warm weather, beach trips, and for foodies out there, Nathan's is gearing up to hold its annual Hot Dog Eating Contest. Every year on July 4, the popular company holds a hot dog eating contest sanctioned by Major League Eating. The rules are pretty self-explanatory; a group of up to 20 competitors must eat as many hot dogs as they can within a given timeframe and the person who eats the most is declared the victor.

Article continues below advertisement

Of course, one unofficial rule is that if you're Joey Chestnut, you almost automatically win. This perennial competitor has taken home first place in the contest since 2007. He dethroned competitive eating legend Takeru Kobayashi back in the day and only lost once in 2015 to Matt Stonie.

Few competitive eaters have come close to matching Joey's legacy, but a recent beef with Nathan's Famous has caused him to be banned from the 2024 competition. What happened between him and the company?

Joey Chestnut competes in Nathan's 2023 Hot Dog Eating Contest
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Joey Chestnut won't be competing in Nathan's 2024 Hot Dog Eating Contest.

On June 11, 2024, outlets like ESPN began reporting that Joey was banned from competing in Nathan's 2024 event. The announcement came from a spokesperson representing Major League Eating, who discussed the longtime competitor's exclusion from his usual appearances. MLE event organizer George Shea explained that Joey had signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with one of Nathan's rival companies. The brand in question, Impossible Foods, specializes in plant-based meat substitutes.

George directly implied that Joey couldn't represent both brands at once. "It would be like Michael Jordan saying to Nike, 'I'm going to represent Adidas too,'" he revealed in a statement. As such, Joey was banned from Nathan's hot dog eating competition over his apparent competing interests.

Article continues below advertisement

Joey almost immediately took to Twitter to explain his displeasure at the decision.

"I was gutted to learn from the media that after 19 years, I'm banned from Nathan's July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest," he tweeted. "I love competing in that event. I love celebrating America with my fans all over this great country on the 4th and I've been training to defend my title."

Article continues below advertisement

Interestingly enough, Joey also explained that he wasn't under any sort of exclusivity deal with Nathan's or MLE, which likely led him to believe that representing another brand wouldn't have been an issue. However, he would go on to explain a perceived shift in policy within the competitive scene.

"They are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with," Joey explained.

Joey's ban was met with divisive reactions. While many fans were as disappointed as Joey was to hear about his exclusion, others have lobbied backlash at Joey for having signed a contract to begin with. Some have even decried his decision to represent plant-based vegan food products.

Nevertheless, Joey's competitive spirit hasn't wavered.

He later tweeted, "To my fans, I love you and appreciate you. Rest assured that you'll see me eat again soon!!"

More from Distractify

Latest Influencers News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.