Papa John’s has issued an apology for blaming poor sales on pro athletes’ “Take a Knee” protests. On a conference call announcing third-quarter earnings, CEO John Schnatter said, “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction. NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.” But multiple other pizza companies disclosed that the demonstrations haven’t hurt their sales at all.
“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 chain wrote on its national Twitter page.
The thread continues: “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.”