Papa Johns Backpedals After Troubling Comment

Papa Johns has backtracked after it criticized NFL protests.

Papa Johns has backtracked after it criticized NFL protests.

By Free Radical

On Tuesday, Papa John’s used Twitter to apologize for offensive statements its CEO made earlier in the month which criticized both the NFL and player protests.

The company, which many have ridiculed for its subpar pizza offerings, tweeted that its employees “believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players’ movement to create a new platform for change.”

This is a sharp departure from statements made by company CEO John Schnatter who on a November 1 earnings call stated that “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction.” Papa John’s saw its stock go down by 24% by the time of Schnatter’s statement.

Schnatter, who is of German descent, is a staunch conservative who has previously blasted Obamacare and other forms of government regulation. And given Schnatter’s support of Trump, it is likely that his comments allude to the belief that a proper resolution would have resulted in the termination of players who kneeled during the national anthem as the president suggested.

Papa John’s has been a corporate sponsor of the NFL since 2010 which seems fitting as critics have argued that its crust is so hard it takes a world class athlete to chew through it.

In reference to Scnatter’s previous comments, the company’s tweet Wednesday reasoned that “The statements made on our earnings call were describing  the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone who thought they were divisive.”

The company went on to say that it “will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward. Open to ideas from all.” Yet it specifically said that it would not entertain Neo-Nazis who celebrated Schnatter’s previous statement.

Ironically, though Schnatter accused the NFL of poor leadership, his company’s sales fell 12% after his statement went viral. Only time will tell if consumers will return to buy their overpriced pizza.

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