Joey Chestnut went on to win yet another mustard belt at the 2022 Hot Dog Eating Contest, but it didn’t come without a little hiccup along the way.
In a video that surfaced online and was not part of the broadcast on the Fourth of July showdown, a protester can be seen running onto the stage while Chestnut was stuffing his face. In the middle of scarfing down a dog, Chestnut reached out, put the protester in a chokehold, and then went back to eating like nothing had happened.
Chestnut went on to win his 15th title.
Not seen on TV was Joey Chestnut putting a protestor in a chokehold while scarfing another hotdog en route to victory pic.twitter.com/nZRZ1AR7jm
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) July 4, 2022
Not only did Chestnut handle business on the stage, but he also stopped by The Pat McAfee Show to discuss the incident and even took the time to crack some jokes at the protester’s expense.
“It was reaction. Just natural instincts. I thought somebody fell into me at first, I didn’t know it was a protester until I saw the mask and it just happened and I wanted to get back into eating,” Chestnut said, via FOX Sports. “As soon as I grabbed him I realized he was a kid. I was like, ‘Oh, this is a kid.’ I mean, he was vegan so he was really skinny. So, yeah, he fell to the ground and he curled up and I got to get back into it.”
What an absolute legend.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 5, 2022
Because of the slight distraction in the middle of the contest, some sportsbooks offered refunds to bettors who placed a bet on the over/under for total hot dogs scarfed down by Chestnut.
While he fell short of his all-time record, he was still able to get the job down and showed the world that he’s the American hero this country needs.