Papa John’s will end it’s sponsorship of the NFL next season after being the “official pizza of the NFL”
Papa John’s will be ending their sponsorship of the NFL two months after the pizza chains founder John Schnatter stepped down. Schnatter resigned after a controversy arose over comments he made regarding the NFL kneelers.
The announcement was first reported by Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino before being confirmed in an earnings call with the company’s investors Tuesday afternoon.
In a joint statement to the media the NFL and Papa John’s made the announcement that the sponsorship would shift to individual relationships with NFL teams.
“The NFL and Papa John’s have made a mutual decision to shift from their official league sponsorship to a focus on partnerships with 22 local NFL teams, presence in broadcast and digital media, and key personalities in the sport,” a statement obtained by ESPN read.
During a press call in November, Schnatter said the NFL had hurt the chain’s business by refusing to address the protests, which at the time were inflamed into a national controversy by remarks from President Trump.
JUST IN: Less than 14 hours after Papa John’s signs off as the official pizza of the NFL, @pizzahut swoops in. Papa John’s deal was set to go until 2020. Pizza Hut now has deal through 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/ioVqZgJly9
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 28, 2018
The president’s remarks last year calling on NFL team owners to fire players who protest sparked dozens of other protests across the league, and a rift between some conservative fans and NFL teams.
Trump at the time last fall was campaigning for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), said we (Americans) are “unified by great American values.”
“We’re proud of our country and we’re proud of our flag,” he said.
He said players who disrespect the flag and kneel for the national anthem should be ejected from the stadium and cut from the team.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘get that son of a b**** off the field right now – he’s fired,'” Trump said.
As you know the debate raged throughout the NFL season. Attendance fell for the games and viewership fell on TV. Papa John’s is being replaced by Pizza Hut as a National sponsor of the NFL. We will see what tricks the social justice warriors have up their sleeves this year.