Fan Perspective

Papa John’s CEO Blames NFL Protests On Low Sales

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Houston, Papa John’s has a problem.

John Schnatter, founder and CEO of pizza chain Papa John’s, blamed the lack of sales from the NFL protest. Since 2010, Papa John’s has been the official pizza sponsor of the the NFL and Super Bowl. John’s net worth fell $70 million in less than 24 hours after the company released its third-quarter financial report on Tuesday afternoon. He’s now worth $801 million according to Forbes.

On a conference call with investors he said, “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle. We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.” Schnatter went on to say, “Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.” He thought the protest had been nipped in the bid a year and a half ago. Papa John’s has a deal with not only the NFL, but also with 23 individual teams.

John H. Schnatter, of Papa John’s International, rings the NASDAQ Opening Bell on January 31, 2014 in New York City.

Schnatter’s outrage over the NFL protests don’t really come as a surprise. He donated $1000 to Donald Trump’s campaign and gave his thoughts on Obamacare.

What Schnatter fails to understand that the protests aren’t the cause of the decline on ratings but I guess any excuse is better than none. The ratings have been on the decline partly due to the way fans consume the game. Forbes contributor, Patrick Rishe, gave his explanation of over saturation and viewing habits. Ratings in 2017 may also be on the decline because fans are boycotting the NFL…I have yet to watch a game. Maybe just maybe the decline in sales has to due with pizza eaters not wanting to eat your nasty pizza. It’s been said that the sauce is too sweet, the dough is too doughy and the cheese is too oily. These complaints have nothing to do with protesting the racial inequalities in the criminal justice system.

It’s interesting that a CEO who was forced to settle a class action lawsuit would find any form of protest troubling. While I have your attention, these men are not protesting the national anthem, military or American flag. Eric Reid wrote an op-ed in the New York Times and I implore Schnatter to read it. At some point in, I would like people to be honest about their positions instead of gathering the low hanging fruit. Blaming the protest on Papa John’s lack of sales is lazy and frankly dishonest. Papa John’s stock was down 8.5 percent on Wednesday and I’d presume they will further fall.

With Colin Kaepernick filing a collusion lawsuit, the Texans owner referring to his players as inmates and Jerry Jones impeding on his players First Amendment rights, Roger Goodell has to do something. Colin Kaepernick opened pandora’s box and there’s no turning back. What is the NFL going to do?

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