Joey Chestnut banned from Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

What'd he do, say something controversial? Talk with his mouth full?

Naw, he went the commercial equivalent of going vegan; He signed an endorsement deal with Impossible Foods.

Major League Eating (MLE), the organization that oversees professional competitive eating events (including but not limited to hot dogs), said in a statement that Chestnut had "chosen to represent a rival brand" rather than compete in its storied Coney Island contest.

Joey! Phoey! I suppose it is his god-given right as a free American to sign a contract with a fake meat company, as it is Major League Eating's right to ban the competition, but I'm not happy about it.

Who else is the master of master of ceremonies George Shea going to laud as highly as Chestnut? I mean, Shea puts him in the Greek pantheon in this one and insults everyone else. For those who can't stomach watching competitive eating, this video is glutton-free.

When asked about Chestnut's response, MLE's chair and co-founder George Shea told NPR over email, "I literally do not know what he is talking about." Nathan's did not respond to a request for comment.

And Impossible Meat released the following statement

"We love Joey and support him in any contest he chooses," a company spokesperson said in a statement shared with NPR. "It's OK to experiment with a new dog. Meat eaters shouldn't have to be exclusive to just one wiener."

Rachel Treisman, NPR