John Schnatter, Papa John’s CEO, announced that they’re seeing a slip in their sales and he points the finger directly at the NFL for it.
“The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter said. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”
Company executives stated that they have begun pulling a lot of it’s NFL ads and in response, the NFL gave them addition spots.
“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said, noting he thought the issue had been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago.
Steve Ritchie, Papa John’s president and chief operating officer, chimed in on the call and also called out the NFL for the decline. Further stating that according to their research, the company is easily the most recognized sponsor of the National Football League for at least two years.
Schnatter was likely referring to the recent rash of National Anthem protests that’s swept through the National Football League and has left many franchises divided. Viewership has been in something of a free fall all season, as many fans have decided to boycott the increasingly political sport.
And since Papa Johns is the official pizza company of the NFL, Schnatter says the league is bringing pizza down with it.
“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said.
Again, he’s likely referring to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has come under fire in the recent weeks for sending mixed signals regarding the anthem protests and not taking a hard stance on unruly players. Amid all of this, his wife got caught defending him against all the Internet trolls with a Twitter burner account, which is definitely not a great look for the Commish.