By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer
Since the start of November, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter has announced his outrage with the NFL’s ongoing protests of the national anthem, claiming these protests are hurting sales significantly.
“The NFL has hurt us,” says CEO Schnatter. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolved this.”
Schnatter continues, saying he thought this problem had been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago, back when the Kaepernick protests first began. Since then, however, and with the rise in protests this year, Papa John’s has seen an 8.5 percent drop in stock value. In response, Papa John’s has pulled much of the NFL television advertising.
Of course, Papa John’s isn’t the only sponsor of the NFL, so their complaints would make plenty sense if they were the only corporation suffering from these National Anthem protests.
However, five of the largest NFL sponsors commented on the situation, and none of which, ranging from Verizon to Nike, complained about how the NFL is tackling the issue, nor did they threaten to loosen the support of the NFL.
Papa John’s is a large corporation, so like most corporations, it’s no surprise it values high sales over the lives of Black Americans.
That being said, Papa John’s pizza is as successful as it is thanks to its partnership with the NFL, and is in no place to argue. Papa John’s has been piggybacking the NFL since its partnership, which has turned mediocre pizza into incredibly successful pizza. If Papa John’s doesn’t owe the NFL anything extra in its times of prosperity, then it has no business complaining when times get slightly tougher.
In reality, that is how a partnership works- one company’s success influences the success of another. So to stay in the partnership means to deal with the problems announced. Hence the reason the Other NFL sponsors haven’t made the same fuss Papa John’s has.
Unlike Papa John’s they’re not being immature about the issue. Verizon spokesperson Jim Gerace understands this issue, as he says “We are not going to critique their performance in public just as I wouldn’t expect them to critique ours.”
To put it simply, these large partners with the NFL all owe some degree of their success to the NFL, and when that deal turns sour, nothing extra is owed. Much like a bad advertisement deal, the power or value or terms of agreement cannot be changed after the agreement is made.
Simply put, if Papa John’s is hurt from the National Anthem protests, it needs to find some way to endure, whether it be to last out the season or make some kind of changes to reach an audience outside of football fans.
However, the whole issue wouldn’t even exist without a need for Black Lives Matter. Without injustices against the African American Community, Papa John’s would be thriving. So let us all as Americans get over our issues of racial discrimination if for no other reason than to keep our subpar pizza companies happy.
In a lighter note, there is some humor to be found in this, as certain white nationalist groups have officially endorsed Papa John’s due to the Pizza Company’s backlash against the NFL’s Black Lives Matter protests. Neo-nazi website The Daily Stormer declares Papa John’s the official go to pizza for white supremacy. As if Papa John’s couldn’t look worse, first it bites the hand that feeds them, then it receives high praises from a neo-nazi website.
Papa John’s has since denounced the adoration of neo-nazis, asking them not to buy his pizza, a strange claim for a corporation to ask for less sales, but a bold move nonetheless.