The far right is rallying around Papa John's after the founder slammed the NFL over national anthem protest 'debacle'

John schnatterMichael Hickey/Getty ImagesPapa John’s CEO and founder John Schnatter.
  • Trump supporters and others on the far right are rallying around the founder of Papa John’s.
  • The founder and CEO slammed NFL leadership for the controversy surrounding players’ recent protests.
  • Meanwhile, people on the left are roasting Papa John’s online.

People on the right are rallying around Papa John’s after the pizza chain’s founder and CEO slammed the NFL.

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” CEO John Schnatter said Wednesday of the ongoing “debacle” playing out over NFL players’ protests during the national anthem.

According to Schnatter, negative perception of the NFL and declining ratings hurt Papa John’s sales in the most recent quarter.

Many on the right rallied to support Papa John’s following Schnatter’s comments and his announcement that the chain was cutting marketing that promoted its partnership with the NFL.

“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. “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

At the same time, many on the left are now trashing Papa John’s for Schnatter’s comments.

“I don’t think the protests are hurting your biz. It the pizza…..your pizza leaves a lot to be desired,” one commenter on Facebook wrote.

This season, many players have knelt during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

Trump tweeted in late September that players kneeling are “disrespecting our Flag & Country.” Many of the president’s supporters agreed, cancelling NFL TV bundles and burning merchandise.

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.

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