Papa John’s apologized last night (November 14th) for comments made by CEO John Schnatter during an earnings call two weeks ago that blamed NFL players’ kneeling protests during the national anthem for the pizza chain’s falling sales. Papa John’s is a major NFL sponsor and advertiser.
The company said in a statement:
“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. 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.”
Papa John’s also offered to, quote, “work with the players and the league to find a positive way forward.” The company’s stock has fallen by nearly 13 percent since Schnatter’s comments. Oh well.