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Joey Chestnut explains why he ‘felt bad’ after putting protestor in headlock during hot dog eating contest: ‘I wish that it didn’t happen’

Joey Chestnut ate 63 sizzling canines to win the 2022 Nathan’s Well-known Scorching Canine Consuming Contest on Monday, however the lasting reminiscence of his efficiency was one thing that wasn’t even proven on air.

In the course of the early phases of the competition, a protestor — Scott Gilbertson, 21 — made his approach onto the stage and stood subsequent to Chestnut because the 15-time sizzling canine consuming champion was gulping down his seventeenth sizzling canine. Gilbertson ran into Chestnut, which brought about the aggressive eater to spring into motion.

Chestnut put Gilbertson right into a headlock and threw him to the bottom. Afterward, Emcee George Shea helped to escort the protestor off the stage.

Whereas Chestnut bought a number of consideration — and even admiration in some circumstances — for his transfer on social media, he did not be ok with what occurred. He defined his emotions and his reactions in an interview with USA TODAY Sports activities on Tuesday.

As quickly as I grabbed the man, I noticed he was a child. I felt dangerous afterwards. I used to be simply amped up, simply targeted on getting again to consuming. It’s simply unlucky. I want that it didn’t occur. It’s a bummer.

MORE: Why sportsbooks are refunding Joey Chestnut bettors after protestor incident

Chestnut defined that a number of elements performed into his response. One was that Gilbertson was sporting a masks when he sidled up subsequent to Chestnut. That brought about the 38-year-old to develop into “freaked out slightly bit.”

“I noticed the masks and I feel that’s once I realized he doesn’t belong right here,” Chestnut mentioned.

Moreover, Chestnut defined that he felt like he was displaying meals aggression akin to that of a canine when Gilbertson got here between him and his sizzling canines.

“That’s what it jogged my memory of,” Chestnut mentioned.

MORE: What occurs to Joey Chestnut’s physique after the Scorching Canine Consuming Contest?

That Gilbertson contacted Chestnut additionally performed a component within the eater’s response. 

“It appears to be like extreme,” he defined. “However in my place, I don’t know, I had been ready a very long time for the competition and I want (Gilbertson) had simply stood by me and I by no means would have touched him. If he hadn’t elbowed me and bought in entrance of me, it might haven’t been an issue. However I additionally want they didn’t get on stage.”

Gilbertson was on the sizzling canine consuming contest as a part of an animal activist group referred to as Direct Motion In all places. They have been there protesting the situations at Smithfield Meals’ Circle 4 Farms in Milford, Utah, the most important pig farm within the U.S., as a result of Nathan’s is licensed by Smithfield, as the group defined in a press launch.

MORE: Joey Chestnut’s internet price, up to date profession earnings

Gilbertson mentioned that his neck was sore after Chestnut’s chokehold, however he would not consider it is something too critical. Nonetheless, he was shocked not solely that Chestnut was the one which grabbed him, however how he responded to Gilbertson’s presence.

“I don’t actually have something in opposition to Joey as an individual,” Gilbertson mentioned. “I used to be simply making an attempt to get my message on the market and my group’s message on the market. I wasn’t making an attempt to nudge him. I had the masks on and my peripheral imaginative and prescient was hindered.

I used to be making an attempt to get in entrance of him. I couldn’t see how shut I used to be to him and I sort of nudged him. So I can perceive, I assume, why he could have overreacted.

“However I feel the extent to which he reacted was pointless.”

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