The alt-right is rallying around Papa John's -- but the chain says it does not want 'hate groups' buying its pizza

  • Many on the right rallied around Papa John’s after its CEO criticised NFL leadership and blamed players’ protests for declining ratings.
  • A white supremacist website dubbed Papa John’s the “official pizza of the alt-right.”
  • Papa John’s said that the chain doesn’t want racist individuals or groups buying its pizza.

Papa John’s pizza has been embraced by the far right following the CEO’s comments slamming the NFL. Now, the chain has been forced to condemn racist customers rallying around the company.

Last Thursday, the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer posted an article asking if Papa John’s was the “official pizza of the alt right” following CEO John Schnatter’s comments regarding the NFL’s failure to resolve players’ national anthem protests.

“This might be the first time ever in modern history that a major institution is going to be completely destroyed explicitly because of public outrage over their anti-White agenda,” Adrian Sol wrote.

Now, Papa John’s representatives have been forced to explicitly condemn the website’s endorsement.

John schnatter papa john'sGettyPapa John’s CEO and founder John Schnatter.

“We condemn racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that support it,” Peter Collins, the senior director of public relations at Papa John’s, told Louisville Courier Journal. “We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza.”

After Schnatter’s comments, many on the right rallied around Papa John’s.

However, the chain also faced backlash from progressives for seeming to blame players’ protest for subpar sales. Other pizza brands also piled onto Papa John’s, implying that the quality of the chain’s pizza — not NFL players — were to blame for the sales slump.

Currently, the NFL is crucial to Papa John’s business. The company began its partnership with the NFL in 2010 and has “Preferred Pizza” partnerships with 23 NFL teams. Last year, the company signed a multi-year partnership with the NFL and the Super Bowl.

On Friday, news broke that Papa John’s is reevaluating its NFL sponsorship after controversy involving players’ protests during the national anthem engulfed the chain.

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