Papa John's apologizes for "divisive" comments that National Football League protests hurt sales

Cheryl Sanders
November 15, 2017

The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive.

On Nov. 1, reports emerged that Schnatter had made controversial remarks during the quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts, saying that the National Football League "controversy" was causing TV ratings to decline and affecting Papa John's business.

Papa John's added that it is "open to ideas from all".

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

The chain then used an emoji for the middle finger, "those guys".

The movement was started previous year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled to protest what he said was police mistreatment of blacks. "The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country".

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

Numerous fans have claimed to be boycotting NFL broadcasts due to players protesting during the national anthem. The controversy kicked off after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem past year, inspiring other players to engage in similar forms of protest to recognize racial inequality and police brutality.

The protests have also drawn criticism from President Trump, who tweeted that kneeling players should be fired. "Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership". Many on Twitter were unimpressed with Papa John's apology, noting that it came too late and that it seemed to stand directly in contrast to what the company's CEO, John Schnatter, had said on the earnings call earlier in November.

In a three-tweet mea culpa, the Louisville-based company did a reversal and said it now supports players' right to protest.

Other reports by iNewsToday