NEW YORK (AP) – Papa John’s is apologizing for comments made by CEO John Schnatter blaming sluggish pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

Papa John’s is a major NFL sponsor and advertiser, and Schnatter said on an earnings call Nov. 1 that “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders” and that the protests “should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

The company tweeted a statement Tuesday night saying “the statements made on our earnings call were describing factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive.” Papa John’s also says the company supports the “players’ movement to create a new platform for change” and that it is “open to ideas from all. Except neo-nazis.”

The company’s stock has fallen by nearly 13 percent since Schnatter’s comments.

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  1. Why in the world would the CEO of Papa Johns apologize for blaming sluggish pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem? What other explanation can you offer for the decrease in sales? It seems perfectly logical that all of us who take offense at the disrespect being shown to the Military, Patriotism, The Flag, and the National Anthem might boycott any commercial entity who is supporting the NFL. Because Papa Johns is a sponsor of NFL games, I have been getting my pizzas from Dominoes and other local pizza restaurants, although not at the time of NFL games. I no longer watch the NFL. Saturday is my football day with Alabama and Navy.

    I have permanently written Papa Johns off my list of places from which to buy pizzas now that the CEO has apologized for something for which he has no need to apologize.

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