Joey Chestnut won his 15th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Monday, taking down 63 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
The broadcast showed him struggling to get the food down at times as he competed on an injured foot, but what it didn’t show was a fan rushing the stage in New York to protest. The fan got into Chestnut’s space to hold up a sign and suffered some consequences because of it.
Chestnut, not to be undermined, immediately turned and put the fan in a chokehold before returning to his plate. It happened in blink-and-you’ll miss it fashion.
Not seen on TV was Joey Chestnut putting a protestor in a chokehold while scarfing another hotdog en route to victory
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia)
ESPN, no strangers to would-be saboteurs of broadcasts, wisely didn’t show the fan, who was wearing a Darth Vader mask and holding a sign that said “Expose Mithfield’s Death Star.”
That’s what it appeared to read, at least. It’s more likely the overzealous rebel was covering an “S” on the edge and was referencing Smithfield Foods, a Virginia-based producer of pork.
Protesting pork at a hot dog eating contest, while audacious, would be a bit like going to a distillery and protesting barley. In some ways, it’s the perfect place to do it, in others it likely ends with you getting put in a chokehold and dragged out of wherever you’re at.