Papa John’s CEO Apologizes For Blaming NFL Protests For Poor Sales

    As the University of Florida prepares to host White Nationalist Leader Richard Spencer and all of the racist riff raff that his white supremacist agenda of hate will attract, Papa Johns Pizza has tried to distance itself from white supremacists who showed support for CEO John Schnatter blaming sluggish pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. 

    USA TODAY on Twitter

    After John Schnatter blamed the NFL for his company’s sagging sales, a white-supremacist publication claimed @PapaJohns as their official pizza. https://t.co/5Djeg1mX4b

    While the city of Gainesville, Florida braces for what should be another bigotry-fueled, divisive moment in America, Schnatter apologized for his statements on Tuesday and has said that he doesn’t want those hate groups to buy his pizza.   

    ProFootballTalk on Twitter

    Papa Johns’ apology for its NFL attack could be the result of Jerry Jones trying to undo damage https://t.co/fRqTpesw5n

    The company is a major NFL sponsor and advertiser, and Schnatter said on an earnings call Nov. 1 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.”

    “The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive,” it said. “That definitely was not our intention. We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players’ movement to create a new platform for change. We also believe, as Americans, we should honor our anthem. There is a way to do both.”

    Not that we need a cosign from Papa Johns to protest racial inequality, police brutality and racial injustice, but its good to see the CEO step back from his original insensitive posture and recognize that Black folks buy pizza too. The company’s stock has fallen by nearly 13 percent since Schnatter’s comments.

    Papa John’s, through their tweets below, added that it is “open to ideas from all. Except neo-nazis.” 

    Jemele Hill got suspended for telling folks on Twitter that the best way to get their point across to a team owner was by hitting him in the pockets and refusing to patronize the team and its advertisers. If people are offended by the racism or philosophies of a company, then dont service them and they will respond. Its quite simple. 

    Schnatters change of heart proves that. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.