By Jack Godar, Editor-in-Chief
In years past, we would often hear the maxim, “stick to sports,” when athletes or coaches would attempt to address social or political issues. However, in recent times, the lines between politics and sports have become blurred, and then completely erased when President Donald J. Trump inserted himself squarely in the debates over the national anthem protests. Luckily, though sports are no longer able to serve as a refuge from these turbulent political times, Americans knew they could still rely on crappy national delivery chain pizza. Well, no more.
Louisville-based pizza baron John “Papa John” Schattner blamed his pizza chain’s dwindling sales in recent years on the NFL’s inability to stop its players from protesting.
From ABC news: “The NFL has hurt us,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”
Executives said the company has pulled much of its NFL television advertising and that the NFL has responded by giving the company additional future spots.”Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said, noting he thought the issue had been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago. In revising sales estimates for the next quarter, Papa John’s president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie said on the call that the NFL deal was the primary suspect behind the decline and that “we expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place.”
I just want to make it clear that this isn’t an Eggplant article and this is an actual thing that happened. This isn’t America’s Papa John. America’s Papa John smiles in bad commercials, pays Peyton Manning to be his best friend and permanent companion, gets embarrassingly drunk with Louisville students after they win the National Championship, and one time led the Louisville football team out into the stadium doing burnouts in his sports car and then handing free pizza to students.
In reality, Papa John’s Pizza sales have been down for a few years, going back before the protests, and it’s probably because it’s not very good pizza, and hasn’t adjusted as competitors have either expanded, such as Little Caesar’s, or improved their pizza, such as Domino’s. But, instead, Papa John (who has conservative political views and donated to Donald Trump’s campaign) uses the NFL protests as an excuse for people not wanting to eat his crappy pizza.
As someone who makes a fair amount of excuses, I kind of respect it. He’s killing two birds with one stone, giving a reason for poor performance that allows him to not make any hard changes, while trying to strong arm others into stopping a behavior he personally disagrees with. However, as far as reasons NFL players shouldn’t protest go, this is one of the worst and most ridiculous ones we’ve seen.
Go home Papa John, you’re drunk.
Picture Credit to: TotalFratMove.com