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Papa John's blames National Football League for sales decline, rips 'poor leadership'

02 November, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Papa John's Q3 financials show healthy global growth

"The NFL has hurt us and, more importantly, by not resolving the current debacle to the [players' and owners'] satisfaction, NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's", he said on the call.

The protests have hurt the pizza chain's sales and profits, according to founder and CEO John Schnatter. The NFL came up over 40 times during the conference call.

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

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. The phenomenon received increased attention earlier this year after President Donald Trump encouraged the citizens to boycott the National Football League when players knelt. Schnatter continued. "And this is an example of poor leadership".

Shares of the pizza chain fell almost 10 percent on Wednesday.

For Q3, system-wide comparable sales were up 1.0% for the North America business and increased 5.3% at global stores.

Papa John's is mad at the NFL. However, company shares fell more than 8% in trading Wednesday.

Company executives added they have pulled some advertising related to its NFL partnership from television broadcasts due to negative customer reaction to the league.

That's because some people are boycotting watching games while players kneel during the National Anthem, so that means fewer people see Papa John's ads and decide to order pizza. Several Papa John's franchises were subpoenaed in New York City (where even the rats know how to find better pizza) for allegedly underpaying their employees. "Further, Lockhart said that other top sponsors have expressed similar concerns as the NFL's TV ratings slump and political battles play out in the league".



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