“Papa John’s” pulls its advertising from NFL

John Schnatter, the founder and CEO of Papa John’s, said the league and its leadership “hurt” the company by not resolving the player protests that have been taking place during the National Anthem.

Papa John’s CEO and founder slammed the NFL, blaming the league’s “poor leadership” on the pizza chain’s sales slump.  “We are totally disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties long ago”  John Schnatter said in a call with investors on Wednesday. “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”, adding: “Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership”

After he slammed the NFL, John Schnatter announced that he is pulling its advertising associated with the NFL. He said sales are down due to “negative consumer sentiment” regarding the company’s relationship with the NFL, which is the main reason for his decision to end any relations with the league.

“The NFL has been a long and valued partner over the years, but we are certainly disappointed that NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties,” the CEO stated.

While the kneeling trend was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, it has continued in 2017, especially since critical comments were made by President Donald Trump.

This season, many players have knelt during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Trump tweeted in late September that players kneeling are “disrespecting our Flag & Country.” Many of the president’s supporters agreed, canceling NFL TV bundles and burning merchandise. Declining viewership isn’t a new problem for the NFL, as ratings were down an average of 8% over the course of last season.

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