For Pete's Sake

Papa John’s owner says NFL protests have hurt the company

In this photograph taken by AP Images for Papa John’s, CEO John Schnatter (right) talked with former NFL player Tiki Barber in 2011.
In this photograph taken by AP Images for Papa John’s, CEO John Schnatter (right) talked with former NFL player Tiki Barber in 2011. AP IMAGES FOR PAPA JOHN’S

One Chiefs fan suggested that any slumping sales for Papa John’s could be blamed on the continued use of former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in commercials.

That could explain why sales would be down in Kansas City. However, a Business Insider story said that Papa John’s reported that same-store sales grew 1 percent in the most recent quarter and that it lowered its North American same-store sales prediction for the year to 1.5 percent, down from 2 percent to 4 percent.

Those numbers didn’t make the boss happy.

“The NFL has hurt us,” CEO John Schnatter said in a conference call, according to ESPN.

Schnatter blasted the NFL over the player protests during the national anthem and suggested that was to blame for the sluggish numbers.

“We are totally disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties long ago,” Schnatter said per Business Insider. “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.”

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to protest racial inequality during the preseason in 2016, and many have since followed suit, including the Chiefs’ Marcus Peters.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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