Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Papa John's apologizes for comments made about National Football League players

Papa John's apologizes for comments made about National Football League players

The pizza chain used its Twitter page Tuesday to apologize to anyone who thought talk stemming from the company's quarterly conference call almost two weeks ago was meant to be divisive.

A company representative said on an earnings call earlier this month that declining viewership of NFL games, due to players protesting racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem, was to blame for their declining sales.

Papa John's has a licensing agreement with the National Football League as well as 23 additional teams.

"The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and owners' satisfaction", Schnatter said in an earnings call on November 1, via Bloomberg.

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter said.

"The NFL has hurt us", Schnatter said on the call. We also believe together, as Americans, we should honor our anthem. However, the company walked back their criticisms of the league's handling of the anthem protests, while making it clear that the official pizza company of the NFL respects the right of the players to protest.

Papa John's responded: "He helped write this post - yes".

The chain then used an emoji for the middle finger, "those guys".

This turned out to be a bad PR move for them as it started an all-out Pizza war, leading Schnatter's net worth to drop $70 million between the time he made the comments a few days after.

"Is this supposed to be Woke Papa John's Pizza?" tweeted @danibostick.

According to Papa John's Spokesman Peter Collins, the company tweeted these statements because they failed to adequately convey their true sentiments two weeks ago.

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