Papa John’s Apologized for Blaming Poor Pizza Sales on the NFL. But the Internet Isn’t Buying It
Papa John’s wants to iron out any confusion about whose side it’s on.
First, CEO John Schnatter accused the NFL of hurting the chain’s sales and profits with its ongoing protests, leading to the Daily Stormer giving the pizza the designation of official pizza of the alt-right. Papa John’s (PZZA) wasn’t too hot on this appointment, and sought to distance itself by saying that the chain condemns “racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that support it.”
Unfortunately, the statement wasn’t enough to dispel the bad image Papa John’s has been developing over the last two weeks. So the chain took to Twitter Tuesday night to clarify their stance once and for all.
In a series of tweets, Papa John’s explained that Schnatter’s comments were intended only to describe the factors that impact the business, and reasserted the company’s belief in the right to protest inequality.
While the company sought to distance itself from Schnatter’s earlier remarks, Papa John’s did not shy away from sharing its feeling towards neo-Nazis. In the last tweet in the series, Papa John’s said that it is open to working with anyone to “find a positive way forward.” But not neo-Nazis—“fuck those guys,” it concluded, appropriately using the middle finger emoji.
But it seems the tweet apology did not impress. The tweets have received thousands of replies—most of them continuing to make a mockery of the pizza chain.
Several users called out the chain for taking two weeks to issue an apology. One user asked “what took so long for the ‘clarification,'” to which Papa John’s replied, “When it became obvious our position wasn’t clear we decided to act. Sorry for the delay.”
Others sought to explain the point of the NFL protest to Papa John’s, with one user saying, “How abt understanding the issue first. By taking a knee, they are NOT dishonoring the flag or anthem. They are exercising the RIGHT that flag is SUPPOSED to stand for, the RIGHT soldiers fought and died for, the RIGHT to protest injustice toward people of color in this country!”
And finally, some users simply took the opportunity to voice their decision to continue to boycott the brand. A user even called out the company for not providing its employees with health benefits, saying, “Until I see John take a knee with the players and give his employees healthcare benefits, I’ll get my pizza elsewhere.”