Joey Chestnut is speaking out publicly for the first time since The Post revealed that the famed hot dog eater was out of this year’s Fourth of July Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest due to beef over a hot dog brand he has made a deal with. 

In a statement on X on Tuesday night, Chestnut said he found out through the media that he would not be competing in the annual Coney Island event, and he was “gutted” by the news. 

The food fight stems from Chestnut’s deal to represent Impossible Foods, which recently launched a vegan hot dog, instead of representing Nathan’s brand. 

“I love competing in that event, I love celebrating America with my fans all over this great country on the 4th and I have been training to defend my title,” Chestnut wrote on X. 

“To set the record straight, I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with. This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th event.

“Sadly, this is the decision Nathan’s and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive the great fans of the holiday’s usual joy and entertainment. To my fans, I love you and appreciate you. Rest assured that you’ll see me eat again soon!! STAY HUNGRY!” 

Chestnut has won the famed Nathan’s hot dog eating event 16 times, coming up victorious every year since 2016.

He ate 62 hot dogs last year and put down a world record of 76 hot dogs in 2021. 

Impossible Foods released its own statement on Tuesday, supporting the competitive eater.

“We love Joey and support him in any contest he chooses. It’s OK to experiment with a new dog. Meat eaters shouldn’t have to be exclusive to just one wiener,” an Impossible Foods spokesman said.

Major League Eating said in a statement that it was “devastated” that Chestnut had “chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs rather than competing in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.” 

“For nearly two decades we have worked under the same basic hot dog exclusivity provisions,” the MLE statement also said. “However, it seems that Joey and his managers have prioritized a new partnership with a different brand over our long-time relationship.”

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