Papa John’s apologizes for criticizing NFL anthem protests
November 20, 2017 | 72° | Check Traffic

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Papa John’s apologizes for criticizing NFL anthem protests

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2016

    San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game.

Papa John’s is apologizing for comments made by CEO John Schnatter blaming sluggish pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

Papa John’s 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 company tweeted a statement tonight saying “the statements made on our earnings call were describing factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive.” Papa John’s also says the company supports the “players’ movement to create a new platform for change” and that it is “open to ideas from all. Except neo-nazis.”

The company’s stock has fallen by nearly 13 percent since Schnatter’s comments.

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