Papa John’s CEO Papa John Is Blaming The NFL For Poor Pizza Sales

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

If you’re familiar with Papa John’s, sorry.

I too have tasted the found beach towels covered in ketchup that they call pizza.

But according to spray-tanned Papa John’s CEO and Peyton Manning TV buddy John “Papa John” Schnatter, his ingredients-I-found-in-an-Olive Garden-trash-can approach to making pizza isn’t to blame for hurting pizza sales.

The NFL is.

“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter said in recent a quarterly earnings conference call. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”

NFL viewership is down, and shares fell as much as 13 percent on Wednesday. The CEO didn’t refer specifically to players’ protests, but the league came up 44 times, more than three times as much as its ever come up in a quarterly conference call in at least the past two years. He indicated the company would be cutting spending on NFL advertisements.

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

NFL fans, on the other hand, suspect something else is to blame.

It’s a mystery.