Papa John's apologizes for 'divisive' comments made about NFL concerning player protests
Papa John's apologized weeks after its founder and CEO, John Schnatter, said that the national anthem protests that have been ongoing in the NFL this season was hurting business.
Schnatter also blamed the league's leadership for his company's recent struggles, where the stock is down over 10% over the last three months.
During a quarterly conference call on Nov. 1, Schnatter said that the protest should have been "nipped in the bud" a year and a half ago.
Schantter then took direct aim at the league and its leadership, claiming "the NFL has hurt us."
But the company reversed its stance in a series of social media post, apologizing for its previous statements.
"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," the company said.
Papa John's is the NFL's official pizza company and more than two dozens teams have individual deals with the company.
"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," the company said.