Papa John's CEO John Schnatter presented an interesting explanation for declining sales during a conference call with investors Wednesday morning:
Papa John's blames weaker than expected same-store sales on "negative consumer sentiment" with company's association with NFL. $PZZA— Jonathan Maze (@jonathanmaze) November 1, 2017
Schnatter says that last year's NFL ratings decline was due to the election. He says this year's is due to "polarizing" controversy. $PZZA— Jonathan Maze (@jonathanmaze) November 1, 2017
Says issue between NFL and players "should have been nipped in the bud" 18 months ago. https://t.co/xM8op4jUmz— Jonathan Maze (@jonathanmaze) November 1, 2017
There is a tiny, tiny micro-speck of logic at work here, in that Papa John's is a major NFL advertiser and NFL ratings are down this year. On the other hand, ratings have been getting better by the week, and there's very little reason to believe the overall drop has anything to do with protests during the national anthem given that pro football is not the only sport that has suffered viewership declines during the cord-cutting era. In any case, "police brutality protests are ruining my pizza business" is not really an idea anyone should ever express out loud.
It may not surprise you to learn that John Schnatter is a big Republican donor.
Colin Kaepernick has disrespected our pizza!