Another corporation has expressed regret for inserting itself into political conflict.
Earlier this week, Keurig apologized for taking sides when Fox News host Sean Hannity told his viewers not to rush to judgment regarding sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
This time it’s Papa John’s, which apologized to customers via Twitter for being “divisive” with its comments about the NFL.
Papa John’s issued the apology in a three-tweet statement:
“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.”
“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. Open to ideas from all. Except Neo-Nazis — [middle finger emoji] those guys.
Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter blamed the NFL for the company’s declining sales, singling out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for how he has handled player protests during the national anthem.
“The NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders,” Schnatter said. “The NFL has been a long and valued partner over the years. But we’re certainly disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties long ago. This should’ve been nipped in the bud a year and half ago.”
Papa John’s profits fell short of third-quarter estimates, and its stock fell to a three-month low early in November.
Numerous fans have claimed to be boycotting NFL broadcasts due to players protesting during the national anthem. Papa John’s is a primary advertiser with the NFL, so Schnatter was drawing a direct line from player protests to his struggling business.
Other pizza companies, such as Dominoes and Pizza Hut, said the NFL protests were not harming their business.