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

15 November 2017

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.

On the company's earnings call earlier this month, Schnatter basically called out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his handling of player protests.

But the company reversed its stance in a series of social media post, apologizing for its previous statements.

The company went on to tweet that it "will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward".

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

"We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players' movement to create a new platform for change". "We also believe together, as Americans, we should honor our anthem". Business Insider retail reporter Kate Taylor noted last week that 18 other NFL sponsors refused to say whether they were reevaluating their NFL sponsorship deals or experiencing a negative sales impact as a result of the protests among NFL players.

A third tweet from the company said that going forward, it will work with the National Football League and its players to "find a positive way forward", and is open to ideas from all, "except neo-nazis" - throwing in a middle finger emoji. But not neo-Nazis-"fuck those guys", it concluded, appropriately using the middle finger emoji. They want to protest.

Papa John's statement on Twitter comes amid a sales slump for the pizza chain.

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One Twitter user wanted to know if Schnatter had any role in flipping off Nazis.

Outside of the people who cheered against Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," this is sure to raise up Papa John's Yelp ratings, right?

"The NFL has hurt us", Schnatter said. "Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership". "The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country".

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