Takeru Kobayashi is in a contract dispute with Major League Eating over his desire to compete in other contests.

Major league what?

Yes, there is a governing body for those events where people compete against each other by stuffing massive amounts of food in their bodies for fame and prizes. Events can include hot dogs, ribs, pizza, wings, and even asparagus. The most famous event is the Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog eating contest and it’s at this year’s event where the dispute between the former 6-time champ and MLE resulted in Kobayashi’s arrest.

At the heart of the dispute is a contract that the participants must sign in order to compete in the Dog fest which restricts the competitors from competing in non-MLE sanctioned events. One side claims that the contract is too restrictive and the other side says that it is necessary to maintain the prestige of the circuit of events by locking down the participants. Since Kobayashi did not sign the contract, he was not allowed to compete.

Kobayashi did attend this year’s Coney Island event as a spectator and when he tried to make a statement by rushing the stage during the awards presentation, he was taken into custody by New York’s Finest. Sucks for him because he was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and trespassing. What sucks even more is that he is probably still sitting in jail until they can find a court-appointed interpreter.

How is this related to shirts? Well, he was wearing a FREE KOBI shirt.

On the Pop Culture Scale, this shirt rates about an 8 and on the plus side, it’s not ugly like many protest shirts. I haven;t found it for sale yet, but I expect that to change sometime soon.

And FYI, the winner this year’s contest is Joey Chestnut


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