While there might be a growing divide in America due to numerous hot topics like gun control, abortion, and the Biden administration, over the weekend, Americans came together to celebrate July 4th. Full of cookouts, fireworks, and family, no Independence Day would be complete without the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Held every year on July 4th, many fans and spectators tuned in to watch as Joey “Jaws” Chestnut won his 15th title. Although impressive given the amount of hotdogs eaten, what made it memorable was the fact that the professional eater had to fight off a protester while eating.
With the country watching, Chestnut appeared to be in his element when he approached his position to completely dominate the event. But during the contest, a person was seen running on stage, sporting a Darth Vader mask and holding a sign that read, “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar”. Given the number of people on the stage at the time, Chestnut was a little confused as he continued to chow down on hotdogs. That was until he realized the protester was not meant to be there. Although he had a mouthful of hotdog, Chestnut quickly put the protester into a chokehold and threw him to the floor. Not fazed one bit, Chestnut went back to the contest as security and police officers rushed to subdue the individual.
According to news outlets, the sign sported by the protester was aimed at Smithfield foods, which is a pork producer. Many animal activists have been outspoken about the company and how they treat their animals.
Either way, with the protester out of the way, Chestnut continued to devour hotdogs until the timer ran out. In the end, the reigning champ had eaten a staggering 63 hotdogs with buns. Solidifying yet another championship, Chestnut has won 15 mustard belt titles in the last 16 years.
It should be noted that while winning, Chestnut wasn’t able to match his best performance, which was in 2021, when he consumed a record 76 hotdogs. Sports writer, Joe Haggerty, commented on the event, writing, “You storm Joey Chestnut’s stage on the 4th of July and you absolutely risk getting your neck snapped like a water-logged hot dog bun.”