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Joey Chestnut Puts Protestor in a Chokehold Mid-Bite at Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

In an unaired moment from the contest, a protestor in a Darth Vader mask stormed the stage.
  • In an unaired moment from the 2022 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, 15-time champion Joey Chestnut put a masked protestor in a chokehold mid-competition.

    During the July 4 event, a person wearing all black and a Darth Vader mask rushed onto the stage holding a sign reading "Expose Smithfield's Deathstar," referring to pork producer Smithfield Foods.

    Immediately after the protestor climbed onstage, Chestnut put them in a headlock and threw them to the ground.

    Although the moment was not broadcast on TV, viewers at the event were able to capture the scene on video, and it has since been uploaded to YouTube.

    The protestor was later escorted out of the event by security, according to TMZ. The outlet also reports that sources from the New York Police Department said three people were taken into custody after the incident, but no one has been officially charged.

    In the end, Chestnut still managed to win the competition, eating 63 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. However, the incident seemed to slow him down: Chestnut's result was way down from his 2021 count of 76 hot dogs and buns, his personal best.

    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey Chestnut, Fourth of July, Star Wars