Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter shifts blames on the NFL protests as the primary reason for a drop in pizza sales, according to reports on sent Wednesday.
“The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter said during a conference call, according to ESPN. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”
The CEO, who famously appears in the company’s commercials alongside NFL legends like Peyton Manning, also believes the national anthem issues had been resolved last season.
To some degree, that was the case until President Trump denounced players who took a knee during the anthem. Since Trump’s statements, the protests — which players say is their stance against racial inequality and police brutality toward minorities — have only grown.
Schnatter could care less about the reasoning behind the protest, blaming NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the issue.
“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”
On Sunday, the Houston Texans took a knee during the national anthem in response to the team’s owner, Bob McNair, saying, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” during a meeting with other NFL Team owners regarding the protests.
The pizza maker’s stock price fell to its lowest point in eight months Wednesday.
According to Papa John’s, the NFL protests are to blame for the drop in Papa John’s stock prices, the lowest it’s been in eight months Wednesday.