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Papa John's blames kneeling National Football League players on slumping sales

02 November 2017

That was largely the case until President Trump denounced players who took a knee during the anthem.

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago".

Regardless of how or why Papa John's sales are down, the fact the company blames the NFL is bad news for the league, from the perspective of revenue and also public relations.

"The NFL has hurt us", CEO John Schnatter said in a conference call, according to ESPN.

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Schnatter's criticism stems from the NFL's decision to allow players to protest on the field during the playing of the national anthem before games. "The NFL has been a long and valued partner over the years".

The NFL did not respond to the Washington Post's request for comment. Net income totaled $21.8 million for the three-month period ended September 24, compared with $21.5 million in the same stretch a year earlier.

Peep the obligatory slander being hurled via Twitter at Papa John's for its stupidity.

NFL owners and executives have been scrambling to determine the best response to players kneeling during the national anthem this season, a movement started a year ago by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to denounce police brutality against African-Americans, social injustice and racial inequality.

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"The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country", Schnatter said.

Papa John's still expects sales to increase by 1.5% in North America this year, but that's down from its previous estimates.

The company demonstrated its frustration by pulling advertising from the NFL, and the league returned with promises of guaranteed future ad spots, ESPN reports.

Papa John's stock was down $5.94, or 9%, to $62.11 in early afternoon trading. Might it be that many consumers, independently of how they feel about the National Football League and its derivative issues, have decided that they prefer Pizza Hut, Dominos, and/or local pizza establishments?

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Papa John's blames kneeling National Football League players on slumping sales