The pizza industry is coming together to slam Papa John's after its CEO blamed NFL players' protests for subpar sales

Papa John's 4Hollis JohnsonPapa John’s pizza.
  • The CEO of Papa John’s recently blamed the chain’s subpar sales on NFL players’ protests during the national anthem.
  • Other pizza brands are saying that Papa John’s should take responsibility for its pizza quality instead of blaming the NFL.
  • DiGiorno even went as far as implying that Papa John’s pizza tastes like “dog s—.”

The pizza industry is joining together in solidarity to roast Papa John’s.

On Wednesday, Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter slammed NFL leadership and blamed players protesting during the national anthem for dragging down the pizza chain’s sales.

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

Backlash was swift. While some people on the right rallied to support Papa John’s, others took the opportunity to roast the chain — including by insulting the quality of its pizza. And, some of those slamming Papa John’s were other pizza brands.

Pizza Hut was flung into the spotlight on Thursday after Greg Creed, the CEO of parent company Yum Brands, said that the NFL protest had “no impact”on the chain’s sales. While Creed was answering an analyst’s question, people were quick to celebrate the response, which seemed to throw Papa John’s under the bus.

Other pizza brands were more deliberate in their anti-Papa John’s crusades.

On Wednesday, frozen pizza brand DiGiorno seemingly subtweeted the competition via emoji:

DiGiorno Pizza then followed up that tweet with a response that specifically called out Papa John’s — and implied the chain’s pizza tastes like “dog s—.”

Ledo Pizza, an East Coast chain with more than 100 locations, also tweeted some jabs against Papa John’s on Wednesday.

The pizza chain also started liking anti-Papa John’s tweets.

It remains to be seen whether other brands will chime in as well.

Business Insider reached out to Domino’s, Little Caesars, and Blaze Pizza on the topic but did not receive any immediate responses.

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