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Joey Chestnut fights off protester during hot dog eating contest win originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
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 them 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.
ARRESTED: Activists who disrupted #NathansHotDogEatingContest have been taken into police custody. Their protest was against Nathanâs pork supplier, Smithfield Foods, a company exposed for animal cruelty, worker abuse, & pollution. Updates will be posted as the story develops. pic.twitter.com/hfhk6cq9Gh
— Direct Action Everywhere (@DxEverywhere) July 4, 2022
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.