National Football League pizza sponsor Papa John's blames $70mn loss on anthem protests

A young John Schnatter from

Papa John's has pulled much of its NFL TV advertising since television audiences decreased by nearly five percent compared with figures from a year ago, and by nearly 18 percent compared with the 2015 season. They echoed Trump's call for the National Football League to make players stand or fire them - a stance that Schnatter did not explicitly take on the earnings call.

But the controversy, ignited by Schnatter's comments during a call with investors Wednesday, is unlikely to inflict any long-lasting damage on Papa John's corporate image or even profits, some marketing experts say. However, others roasted the Papa John's founder for blaming players protesting racial inequality for poor sales, as opposed to acknowledging subpar pizza could have played a role. The CEO refused to take a knee (take a knead?) and instead blamed the National Football League anthem protests.

According to CNBC, John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John's said the league not resolving the issue of players kneeling during the national anthem, have hurt his company and its sales.

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They are now performing in the Premier League and doing well. "That's only going to build their confidence and benefit us as a country".

They praised Schnatter for distancing the pizza brand from the NFL.

And Schnatter, who donated to Trump's election campaign, said the dispute should have been "nipped in the bud" when the protest first began.

Jones has become a significant Papa John's franchise owner, with the total number of stores owned by Jones in excess of 100 as of 2014.

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Digiorno pizza official Twitter account took to Twitter and posted a series of tweets, trolling the hell out of Papa John for complaining.

Schnatter came under fire in 2012 for saying that the Affordable Care Act could be "lose-lose" for Papa John's franchisees and employees.

The NFL has declined to comment.

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Pizza Hut said the opposite: "We're not seeing any impact from any of that on our business", said Greg Creed, who is CEO of Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands Inc. In comparison, sales were up 5.5% at the same time previous year. Pizza Hut said Thursday that sales rose 1 percent at its established locations worldwide and were flat in the United States, an improvement from past quarters.

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