Papa John's Apologizes For Comments About NFL Player Protests, Says 'F*ck Neo Nazis'
15 November, 2017, 13:35
Papa John's apologized Tuesday for saying that National Football League protests were hurting its sales.
- Papa John's Pizza (@PapaJohns) November 15, 2017We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players' movement to create a new platform for change.
"We posted this today because it became obvious over the last week people didn't understand our position", Papa John's spokesman Peter Collins said Tuesday. Schnatter believes the anthem protests turned fans away from the game and, as a result, caused a decline in pizza sales. "Except neo-nazis - expletive those guys".
Schnatter previously blamed commissioner Roger Goodell for allowing the anthem protests to continue rather than take a harsher stance against the demonstrations. 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 as a result of the protests among NFL players.
Papa John's added that it is "open to ideas from all".
National Football League rules say players "should" stand for the anthem.
The protests have also drawn criticism from President Trump, who tweeted that kneeling players should be fired. "Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership".
"Is this supposed to be Woke Papa John's Pizza?" A user even called out the company for not providing its employees with health benefits, saying, "Until I see John take a knee with the players and give his employees healthcare benefits, I'll get my pizza elsewhere". One user asked "what took so long for the 'clarification, '" to which Papa John's replied, "When it became obvious our position wasn't clear we chose to act". The controversy kicked off after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem previous year, inspiring other players to engage in similar forms of protest to recognize racial inequality and police brutality.
The NFL couldn't immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday.
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