After Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter made his feelings about the NFL kneeling controversy clear, the brand’s products are now reportedly being hailed ‘the potential pizza of choice for the alt-right’.
Papa John’s has been the NFL’s official pizza sponsor since way back in 2010 and Schnatter has now blamed a drop in the company’s stock price on the ‘ongoing protest by players in a mostly black league who are tired of police shooting black people’.
Schnatter decided to publicly re-evaluate his company’s relationship with the NFL – whose ratings are down this year.
In particular, he’s reportedly ‘had enough of the league allowing its players to kneel during the national anthem’.
He told Huffington Post:
The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction.
The NFL has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.
Once, The Daily Stormer – an American neo-Nazi and white supremacist news and commentary website – (yep, unfortunately it exists) – decides to embrace a brand, the ‘entire white supremacist community tends to jump in’, continues the Huffington Post.
According to the publication, this happened previously with footwear brand New Balance and US fast food chain, Wendy’s.
Now it looks set to happen to Papa John’s, after Schnatter’s decision to re-evaluate the company’s ties with the NFL.
— The Opposition (@TheOpposition) November 3, 2017
Players have taken to kneeling down during the national anthem before games in a silent protest movement against police brutality.
The movement was first started by American football player Colin Kaepernick, who said in a press conference:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.
To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.
There are bodies in the street, and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.
The NFL have been accused of ‘not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction’.
Schnatter, who happened to donate to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, said:
Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership.
He also revealed Papa John’s is ‘pulling ads from some NFL games this season’.
People are understandably not happy with the move – and with Schnatter’s comments – and have threatened to boycott the pizza giant, with one person saying: ‘we don’t buy white supremacist pizza’.
Here’s a quick look at what’s being said across Twitter:
— Thee ODB (@TheeODB) November 4, 2017
Mad because I like Papa Johns pizza and they wanna be on that bullshit
— KPinkard (@KP_Folarin) November 3, 2017
Papa Johns tastes like everything that we’ve learned about the company in recent years.
— #sistah jamilah (@JamilahLemieux) November 3, 2017
Wendy's just tweeted and deleted this pic.twitter.com/c7l1nzOKZr
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) January 4, 2017
— IG: MARVILIS (@ItsMARVILIS) November 3, 2017
Boycott PAPA JOHNS PIZZA. Buy Little Caesars instead. Their CEO is a much better American.
— RayR.Librandi-RESIST (@RayRLibrandi) November 3, 2017
Huffington Post asked Papa John’s Senior PR Director Peter Collins for a comment on the white supremacists’ support of the brand.
They said ‘responding with shock’, the company said they ‘didn’t have any idea about it’, but they later emailed a statement condemning the ‘new supporters’.
We condemn racism in all forms and any, and all hate groups that support it.
We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza.
You’re damn right.