This is video footage of champion eater Takeru Kobayashi being led away in handcuffs from this year’s Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. Kobayashi was not allowed to compete because he refused to sign a contract with MLE, Major League Eating. The MLE contract only allows eaters to compete in MLE sanctioned events. Kobayashi wanted the freedom to compete in events sponsored by other organizations. So he did not appear as a competitor in this year’s Nathan’s hot do eating contest.
However, he did attend the event. Wearing a “Free Kobi” shirt, Kobayashi joined the crowd at this year’s event. When the contest ended, he took to a side stage to shake hands with fans and supporters. Police officers took him away in handcuffs when Kobayashi refused to leave the stage.
Shame on you MLE for letting things get this far out of hand! The shitty thing about the MLE contract is that there are no guarantees of payment or anything like that. Preventing competitors from attending other events cuts off potential sources of income. It would make sense if there was at least a performance fee or something to that effect, but there are no such guarantees. I don’t think MLE is big enough to demand that kind of loyalty. Let your eaters earn some money until you can guarantee something other than just the chance to compete.
Source: LA Times