John Schnatter, the outspoken conservative owner of Papa John’s pizza, is now claiming that his drop in sales is the direct result of NFL players protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.
Schnatter pulled a lot of his ads from NFL games this season, citing the ongoing protests as a reason, though they still remain a prominent sponsor of the league, as well as 23 individual teams.
“The NFL has hurt Papa John’s shareholders,” he said during a conference call with investors on Wednesday. “The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country.”
Schnatter, who famously said that the passage of Obamacare would force him to raise his pizza prices and reduce workers’ hours, also lashed out at NFL executives for allowing the protests to continue, citing their actions as “an example of poor leadership.”
Papa John’s president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie agreed with his boss regarding the cause of the decline, telling investors “we expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place.”
NFL ratings are down 5 percent from this time last year, but so is the rest of network television. Papa John’s stock, however, is down 24 percent for the year, while rival Domino’s is up 12 percent, suggesting maybe people are just sick of Papa John’s.
Twitter seemed to think so:
Article Courtesy of EURweb
Picture Courtesy of JB Lacroix and Getty Images
First through Fifth Tweet Courtesy of Twitter and EURweb
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