By Caitlin Aquino
Since 2010, Papa John’s had been an official NFL sponsor. This year, the pizza chain has seen its stock price drop 24 percent. In response, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter placed the blame on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter told investors during a conference call. “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction… The NFL has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.” Consequently, Papa John’s has promised to pull their ads from some NFL games this season.
Immediately after the public accusation, the pizza company was slammed on social media by both consumers and rival pizza-makers for the quality of its pizza, the true reason for suffering sales, claimed those critics. Some even declared Schnatter a racist for scapegoating black football players protesting racial injustice.
“This is great,” wrote columnist Adrian Sol in The Daily Stormer, an American neo-Nazi and white supremacy news and commentary website. “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 later dubbed Papa John’s as the “official pizza of the alt-right” and posted a picture of a swastika pizza.
Following the Nazi pizza failure, Peter Collins, the senior director of public relations at Papa John’s, issued an email to The Huffington Post: “We condemn racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that support it. We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza.” The only other issue the company faces now is the fact that this whole debacle has highlighted how people feel about Papa John’s garbage pizza.