Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Papa John's apologizes for comments made about National Football League players

Papa John's apologizes for comments made about National Football League players

In a third tweet, the company says, quote, "We will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward".

The popular pizza chain apologized in a string of tweets Tuesday night for comments made on a November 1 conference call with shareholders where CEO and TV pitchman John Schnatter insinuated the ongoing anthem protests have hurt his business.

In a three-tweet mea culpa, the Louisville-based company did a reversal and said it now supports players' right to protest. We also believe, as Americans, we should honor our anthem. Open to ideas from all. "Except neo-nazis", the company tweeted, offering a "middle finger" emoji to "those guys".

Hill also commented on Papa John's apology Tuesday, writing, "This is peak 2017".

Since then, the company remained relatively quiet, saying only that they "condemn racism in all forms" and doesn't want neo-Nazis eating their pizza. "They don't need your permission or to compromise to benefit you", according to Hollywood writer Rachel Kiley.


Papa John's responded: "He helped write this post - yes".

"The NFL has hurt us", the pizza powerhouse's pitchman John Schnatter explained two weeks ago.

Papa John's sought to distance itself from the political far-right movement that has associated itself with the pizza chain, following controversial remarks from CEO John Schnatter, who previously railed against NFL players' national-anthem demonstrations.

With controversy around the national anthem protests percolating, Papa John's CEO John Schnatter said on the November 1 call, "The NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders". "The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country".

This turned out to be a bad PR move for them as it started an all-out Pizza war, leading Schnatter's net worth to drop $70 million between the time he made the comments a few days after.

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