Papa John's issues weak apology after blaming NFL protests for drop in sales

Papa John's came under fire a few weeks ago when the company's founder, John Schnatter, blamed the NFL for the pizza chain's recent drop in sales. Specifically, Schnatter took aim at the wave of anthem protests and said the NFL's failure to stop the demonstrations was hurting his company, which has been the official pizza sponsor of the NFL since 2010. 

"The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and owners' satisfaction," Schnatter said in an earnings call on Nov. 1, via Bloomberg. "NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders."

The pizza company was swiftly criticized by many for pressuring the league to suppress the player protests, which began as a way to bring attention to police brutality and racial injustice in America. It got worse for Schnatter when the far-right website The Daily Stormer declared Papa John's to be "the official pizza" of the alt-right. 

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. 

But on Tuesday night, Papa John's official Twitter account published a string of tweets addressing their statements on that earnings call.

So, that's certainly more of a "sorry you were offended" apology than a "sorry, we screwed up" apology, which is something. If there's a "negative consumer sentiment" surrounding the Papa John's relationship with the NFL, as Schnatter claimed a few weeks ago, it'll be interesting to see if this semi-apology helps them any. If not, they could always try making better pizza.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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