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

Annette Crawford
November 15, 2017

"The NFL has hurt us", Schnatter said on the call.

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.

During the call with investors in early November, Schnatter said that the company, which has an exclusive partnership with the National Football League, was "totally disappointed" by the organization's leadership.

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. The NFL has been a long and valued partner over the years.

But on Tuesday night, Papa John's official Twitter account published a string of tweets addressing their statements on that earnings call. "That was definitely not our intention", Papa John's tweeted.

In a series of tweets, the company said they believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players' movement to create change. There is a way to do both. Open to ideas from all. "Except neo-nazis - expletive those guys".


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

The chief marketing officer for Papa John's, Brandon Rhoten, told Ad Age last week that his company was "talking about what next steps look like".

"The NFL has hurt us", he said earlier this month, per Darren Rovell of ESPN.

In addition to allowing itself to be perceived as opposed to players' efforts to highlight racial injustice, Papa John's has been drawn into Cowboys owner Jerry Jones's feud with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other owners. It said Tuesday via Twitter that Schnatter "helped write and endorsed" its statement of apology.

Apparently Papa John's doesn't believe two weeks is too late to say sorry.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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