Papa John’s Pizza Blames NFL For Low Sales

Papa John’s Pizza founder and CEO John Schnatter probably wishes he could eat his words after seeing his net worth drop by millions on Wednesday. The drop happened after he blamed the chains low sales on NFL protests.

Schnatter’s $801 million net worth dipped by $70 million in less than 24 hours according to Forbes, following a shareholders call where Schnatter addressed the company’s falling stock price this quarter.

According to ESPN, Schnatter was letting off shots at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for not putting a stop to the anthem protests.

“Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said and added that it should have been “nipped in the bud” when the protests first began.

“We are totally disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties long ago,” Schnatter said. “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.” 

Papa John’s is the official pizza of the NFL and endorsed by stars like JJ Watt and Peyton Manning. The company has reportedly pulled the bulk of its NFL TV ads.  Schnatter owns a quarter of Papa John’s. So, his bottom line takes a hit when the company hits hard times.  Hang on Schnatter, I’m sure it’s going to get even rougher. I guess pizza sales are more important than the reasons behind the initial protest.

Meanwhile, PizzaHut‘s CEO said they’re good and haven’t seen a decline because of the protests.

“We’re not seeing impact on any of that on our business,” Greg Creed, CEO of Pizza Hut’s parent company Yum Brands, said in a call with investors on Thursday.

Thursday morning saw a bit of recovery for the stock, but I think Schnatter might try working on a better recipe for their pizza. Maybe that will get sales going again.