Papa John's Says NFL Protests Are to Blame for Lower Pizza Sales

by Frankie Norman November 2, 2017, 0:10
Papa John's Says NFL Protests Are to Blame for Lower Pizza Sales

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter said.

Papa John's is mad at the NFL.

Speaking on an earnings call Wednesday, John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's, blamed the NFL for a dropoff in sales at the pizza chain and pointed directly to the national anthem controversy.

NFL owners and executives have been scrambling to determine the best response to players kneeling during the national anthem this season, a movement started a year ago by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to denounce police brutality against African-Americans, social injustice and racial inequality.

Despite his long love affair with the NFL, the pizza chain giant is upset the league hasn't put an end to players protesting police brutality and oppression against people of color.

The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and owners' satisfaction.

Papa John's COO and President Steve Ritchie said "another year of unexpected decline in viewership of the NFL, combined with significant negative consumer sentiment of our association with the league" has hurt the company's sales outlook.

Added CMO Brandon Rhoten: "The NFL was eighth of the top 10 prime time shows". Net income totaled $21.8 million for the three-month period ended September 24, compared with $21.5 million in the same stretch a year earlier.

Discussing a tangible drop in sales, Schnatter was adamant that 'the national anthem protests have been. hurting business'.

Other NFL advertisers such as Kohl's and Buffalo Wild Wings have expressed confidence in the league in recent days and say they are not deterred by the controversy or how it has been handled.

Papa John's is taking multiple L's, and is still canceled. Sales growth in North America, which earlier reports was said to be anywhere from 2 to 4 percent, were adjusted down to 1.5 percent, it was announced in the company's third-quarter results.

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