joey chestnut

Joey Chestnut Tackles Darth Vader-Masked Protester During Hot Dog Eating Contest

One of the protesters who rushed the stage bumped into Joey Chestnut as he was competing in the contest

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Joey Chestnut devoured 63 hot dogs and one protester.

While the competitive-eating legend was in the midst of winning the 2022 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest for the 15th time on Monday in Brooklyn, protesters rushed the stage.

One of the protesters -- wearing a Darth Vader mask and holding a sign that read "Expose Smithfield Deathstar" -- bumped Chestnut out of position as he was downing his 18th hot dog. Chestnut wrapped his arm around the neck of the protester and helped pull the person to the ground.

Chestnut immediately resumed eating his hot dog and security removed the protester.

Three people were taken into custody and charges are pending, according to TMZ.

Animal activist group Direct Action Everywhere tweeted that disrupting the contest was in protest of Smithfield Foods, Nathan's pork supplier.

Chestnut, who arrived at the event on crutches due to a ruptured tendon in his leg, went on to eat 63 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win the event for the seventh consecutive year. He finished 15.5 hot dogs ahead of second-place Geoffrey Esper, the No. 2-ranked eater.

The greatest hot dog eater of all time defends his title at the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, winning his 15th championship.

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