LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Nearly two weeks after Papa John’s executives expressed disappointment with players protesting during the national anthem, the company is walking back on comments made during that earnings call.
The pizza chain took to Twitter Tuesday to apologize after saying protests were hurting business:
“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. That definitely was not our intention. 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. There is a way to do both. We will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward. Open to ideas from all. Except neo-Nazis -- *expletive emoji* those guys.”
We will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward. Open to ideas from all. Except neo-nazis — 🖕those guys. (3/3)— Papa John's Pizza (@PapaJohns) November 15, 2017
Not everyone was buying their apology.
Nope, too late.— Juliethe RealJules (@JTRJules) November 15, 2017
When you acknowledge that the kneeling protests ONE thing only, specifically police brutality against minorities, and that the protests do not disrespect either the military nor our flag, THEN I MIGHT consider eating your shitty pizza again.
I really doubt it.
Bull! You want the players to compromise! The players and their supporters ARE honoring America by peacefully protesting...taking a knee. NOTHING about that dishonors the anthem, the flag, or America! Your Trump is showing!— hollyann (@hampgal7) November 15, 2017
I'll be fair and say that it isn't your pizza that's left a bad taste in my mouth. It'll take a lot more than backpedaling to get it out. It hasn't worked for @ChickFilA— Andrew Hodge 🇺🇸❄️ (@andruhodge) November 15, 2017
After CEO John Schnatter's original comments on Nov. 1, Papa John's shares fell more than 8 percent.
Papa John's has a deal with the NFL and 23 of their teams individually.
Representatives from the company told WHAS11 News that Schnatter did help craft the tweets seen on Twitter and says it is the overall company stance.