Joey Chestnut fights off a protester during his win at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
Joey Chestnut devoured 63 hot dogs and a protester.
As the competitive dining legend was set to win Nathan’s 2022 hot dog eating contest for the 15th time on Sunday in Brooklyn, protesters rushed to the stage.
One of the protesters – wearing a Darth Vader mask and holding a sign that read “Expose Smithfield Deathstar” – shoved Chestnut out of position as he swallowed his 18th hot dog. Chestnut wrapped his arm around the protester’s neck and helped pull them to the ground.
Chestnut immediately resumed eating his hot dog and security kicked the protester out.
Three people have been taken into custody and charges are pending, according to TMZ.
Animal activist group Direct Action Everywhere tweeted that disrupting the contest was a protest against Smithfield Foods, Nathan’s pork supplier.
Chestnut, who arrived at the event on crutches due to a ruptured tendon in his leg, then ate 63 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win the event for the seventh consecutive year. He finished 15.5 hot dogs ahead of second-ranked No. 2 eater Geoffrey Esper.