Papa John's Apologizes For Blaming Poor Pizza Sales On NFL Protests


Papa John's has apologized for comments its founder and CEO John Schnatter made on an earnings call last month where he blamed the National Football League and player protests for a weak third quarter.

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. "Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership". "Except neo-nazis", the company tweeted, offering a "middle finger" emoji to "those guys".

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter reportedly said during the November 1 call. "The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country".

Several prominent figures criticized Schnatter for his initial insensitive comments, insinuating that pizza sales are more important than taking a stand against racism and police brutality - the reasons behind the majority of players protesting during the anthem.

Far-right groups took note of the sentiment and floated the idea that the pizza chain may have been the "official pizza of the alt right".

On the earnings call two weeks ago, Schnatter blamed Goodell for the protest "debacle".

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Hill also commented on Papa John's apology Tuesday, writing, "This is peak 2017".

"The NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders", Schnatter said.

Despite the pizza chain's efforts Tuesday to address the criticism over those remarks, some social media users weren't convinced.

Outside of the people who cheered against Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," this is sure to raise up Papa John's Yelp ratings, right?

Papa John's replied to some of the responses, acknowledging that it "should have acted sooner" following Schnatter's comments.