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Papa John's Blames NFL Protests, Leadership For Hurting Sales

Papa John's Blames NFL Protests, Leadership For Hurting Sales

The ongoing NFL saga has now made its way towards Wall Street. Pizza chain and NFL sponsor Papa John's Int'l, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) saw its stock lose more than 10 percent on Wednesday after the company reported its third-quarter results, which fell short of expectations.

The restaurant chain's founder and CEO John Schnatter made it clear what happened in the quarter: The NFL's controversy of players taking a knee during the singing of the national anthem "hurt" sales, CNBC quoted the executive as saying.

As the official pizza restaurant of the NFL since 2010, the company's brand took a hit accordingly. However, blame for the poor performance doesn't end with just the players.

"The NFL has hurt us and, more importantly, by not resolving the current debacle to the player and owner's satisfaction, NFL leadership has hurt's Papa John's," Schnatter said. "Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership."

The kneeling controversy, contrary to what many assume, didn't begin under President Donald Trump's administration. The issue should have "been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago," the executive said, likely in reference to the ex- San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick. At that time, Kaepernick's decision wasn't expected to affect the NFL's current sponsors, a theory may have now been debunked based on Papa John's earnings report.

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NFL Demand Still Up Despite Disastrous Start To The Season
Image Credit: Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) - Own work, GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons


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