Papa John’s apologizes for comments about NFL player protests

Papa John’s, which came under fire for blaming the NFL’s handling of player protests for declining pizza sales, used Twitter Tuesday to apologize for the potential divisiveness of its stance.

“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, an NFL sponsor, tweeted.

With controversy around the national anthem protests percolating, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter said on the Nov. 1 call, “The NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders. 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 series of Tuesday tweets said while the company supports players’ rights to protest, it believes that the anthem should be honored and that it’s willing to work with players and the league to move forward from the controversy.

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