By and large, viewers who attend Nathan’s official hot dog eating contest every year know what they’re going for, and usually it doesn’t extend much beyond the name itself. But apart from all the men and women stuffing their faces with processed meat and water-soaked buns, this year, unfortunately, there was also an unexpected visitor in the form of a protester in a Darth Vader mask. However, the famous gluttony record holder Joey Chestnut didn’t look too worried as he managed to beat the guy in the midst of his winning run.
In the midst of a ten-minute feast, animal rights activists targeted a hot dog eating contest and took to the stage with posters reading “Expose the Death Star of Smithfield.” But before anyone could run Google to find out exactly what the group wanted to expose, Joey Chestnut proved that he didn’t need the force to take down one protester in a Vader mask, as shown below:
First of all, let’s all breathe a sigh of relief, because this scenic bamrash was relatively peaceful, and that no one seems to have been seriously injured. Obviously, there were some serious issues related to the fact that the artists on stage and the presenters became more vulnerable than ever after Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars, as well as due to the fact that Dave Chappelle was busy, and other recent riots. Not to mention mass shootings, which confound many people when it comes to mass gatherings.
In this case, the violators were part of the Direct Action Everywhere group in order to draw attention to Smithfield Foods, the food manufacturer responsible for supplying pork for Nathan’s hot dogs. But instead of just preaching awareness, one protester should have been aware of his own surroundings when he ran into Joey Chestnut while he was eating his 18th hot dog.
With just a brief hesitation, during which you have to imagine a thousand different things going through his head, Joey Chestnut stopped his eating rhythm and easily lowered the dude from behind before security intervened. This could cause serious damage to Chestnut. was anyone else in the competition to get close to his total of 63 dogs. However, this did not happen, as the second-place eater, Jeffrey Esper, finished 15.5 hot dogs behind Chestnut.
As for the three protesters, whom Sportskeeda identified as Scott Gilbertson, Robert Yamada and Josh Marksen, they were all taken into custody shortly after, according to TMZ, and charges had not yet been filed at the time of publication of this report. Perhaps this is not the best way to make your point, given that more people are likely to talk about Joey Chestnut criticizing Darth Vader than those who discuss pork-based activism.
Of course, even this spontaneous surprise couldn’t distract attention from Joey Chestnut in general, given that this was his 15th victory at Coney Island in Nathan’s hot dog eating contest and his seventh victory in a row. This year’s total didn’t come close to last year’s record 76 hot dogs, but it clearly didn’t need to go that high. Which is probably best, considering all the terrible things that happen to his body after every competition.
After the feed was turned off at the height of the competition last year, and activists prevented the event this year, one can only guess what will happen next year.