Papa John's takes a knee in earnings call controversy

18 November, 2017, 02:26 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Papa John's issues weak apology after blaming NFL protests for drop in sales

"NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders", said the chain's CEO, John Schnatter, in a call with analysts.

The chain's CEO, John Schnatter, had blamed slow pizza sales on the national anthem protests, saying in a November 1 earnings call that "NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders" and that the protests "should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago". We also believe, as Americans, we should honor our 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", Schnatter said.

The CEO's remarks led neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer to endorse Papa John's as the official pizza of the self-proclaimed alt-right - an accolade the company rejected.

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Declining viewership and loss of advertising revenue were previously raised as major concerns by Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder and other National Football League owners regarding potential negative consequences of the ongoing anthem protests.

The movement was started past year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled to protest what he said was police mistreatment of blacks. The four major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox) are all suffering declining viewership, according to CNN.

The pizza company was sure to appease as much as possible, claiming it was "open to ideas from all" for solving the protest issue, "Except neo-nazis".

Member of the San Francisco 49ers kneel and stand during the playing of the National Anthem.

. The Business Insider retail reporter Kate Taylor noted last week that 18 other NFL sponsors refused to say whether they were reevaluating their NFL sponsorship deals or experiencing a negative sales impact attributed to the protests among NFL players.

Schnatter's comments were widely reported, and Papa John's was trending on Twitter for several hours afterwards.

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