The Slatest

Papa John’s Blames Falling Sales on NFL Players Kneeling During the National Anthem (Seriously)

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid was one of the first NFL players to join Colin Kaepernick in protesting police brutality by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem. He is thus a known enemy of pizza.

Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photos by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images, grublee/Thinkstock.

Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter presented an interesting explanation for declining sales during a conference call with investors Wednesday morning:

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!