John Schnatter (Getty/Michael Hickey)

Papa John's supports NFL protests, gives the finger to neo-Nazis

The pizza chain completely backs NFL players' right to protest, renounces the "alt-right" in a series of tweets


Taylor Link
November 15, 2017 1:17PM (UTC)

Papa John’s apologized on Twitter Tuesday for blaming poor sales on the NFL player protests during the national anthem. The pizza chain said that it supports the players' act of dissent to "create a new platform for change."

The company had already renounced the "alt-right" after The Daily Stormer, a notorious white supremacist website, endorsed Papa John's as the "official pizza of the alt-right" following CEO John Schnatter's claim that the NFL protests were hurting the pizza chain's bottom line.

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"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, said in a statement last week. "We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza."

Schnatter's controversial comments were made during a conference call last month. In them, the CEO said, "The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction" and that "this should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago."

The position was celebrated by the "alt-right," as memes of Papa John's pizzas decorated with swastikas soon appeared all over the internet. Daily Stormer writer Adrian Sol wrote in a post, "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."

Sol was right about one thing: Papa John's was unequivocally humiliated by the dust up. To put to rest the uncomfortable situation, the pizza chain's online marketing team publicly backed the NFL players' right to protest, in Tuesday's tweets, while also condemning neo-Nazis, giving a middle finger to the group that had just adopted them.

Papa John's finally picked the right side in the debate, a move that was long overdue. Its prominent CEO was a donor to President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Alt Right Business National Anthem Neo Nazis Papa John's Pizza Police Brutality Protest

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