Papa John's apologizes for comments about National Football League player protests

Paola Ditto
Novembre 15, 2017

The popular pizza chain apologized in a string of tweets Tuesday night for comments made on a November 1 conference call with shareholders where CEO and TV pitchman John Schnatter insinuated the ongoing anthem protests have hurt his business.

It took nearly two weeks for the company to speak on the topic again, but this time, they released a series of tweets apologizing for their actions and blaming players who were peacefully protesting police brutality and social injustices during the Anthem.

Schnatter previously blamed commissioner Roger Goodell for allowing the anthem protests to continue rather than take a harsher stance against the demonstrations.

"The NFL has hurt us", he said earlier this month, per Darren Rovell of ESPN. "NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders". Papa John's president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie has said that research has found that Papa John's has been the most recognized sponsor associated with the NFL for two years running, which he said means the company's performance can track with that of the league. The four major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox) are all suffering declining viewership, according to CNN.

The company went on to tweet that it "will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward".

Papa John's sought to distance itself from the far-right movement after its controversial response to national anthem protests from several NFL players. Open to ideas from all.

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