Liberals are rallying around Little Caesars amid Papa John's political boycotts because of a little-known fact about its founder

Little caesars pizzaKim Bhasin / Business InsiderLittle Caesars pizza.
  • Progressives are threatening to boycott Papa John’s after the CEO slammed the NFL.
  • One frequently mentioned replacement is Little Caesars.
  • Little Caesars’ founder has been applauded for quietly paying for Rosa Parks’ rent.

Liberals are latching onto an unlikely replacement for Papa John’s after boycott threats.

On Wednesday, Papa John’s CEO and founder John Schnatter sparked controversy when he said that NFL players’ protests during the national anthem were hurting pizza sales.

Despite finding support on the right, the CEO was widely roasted on social media.

“I guess trying to find a non-racist pizza is our new world, everyone,” model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen tweeted on Thursday.

Papa John's 3Hollis JohnsonPapa John’s pizza is under fire in the wake of comments from its CEO.

In Teigen’s replies, one chain shows up again and again: Little Caesars.

“Little Caesar’s founder Mike Ilitch quietly paid Rosa Parks’ rent,” a Twitter user wrote, with a claim that showed up several times.

While unlike other pizza brands, Little Caesars has not responded to Schnatter’s statements, it’s reaping the benefits of the boycott threats.

Dozens of people have taken to social media to praise Mike Ilitch as an example of what a pizza chain founder should be — in contrast to their criticism of Papa John’s founder Schnatter.

There is even a meme circulating comparing the two men.

While Snopes reports that the meme in question stretches the truth and cherry picks evidence to portray Schnatter in a negative light while elevating Ilitch, people aren’t wrong to celebrate the Little Ceasars founder’s support of Rosa Parks.

Judge Damon Keith told Sports Business Daily in 2014 that Ilitch had quietly paid rent on a Detroit apartment for civil rights icon Rosa Parks for years after she was robbed and assaulted in her apartment in 1994. The news story was recirculated widely earlier this year, after Ilitch passed away in February.

“It’s important that people know what Mr. Mike Ilitch did for Ms. Rosa Parks because it’s symbolic of what he has always done for the people of our city,” Keith said.

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