National pizza chain Papa John’s is facing a financial hardship and the CEO blames the NFL’s national anthem issue, dismissing social injustice. Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter stated during a national conference call to investors that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is the chief culprit and stated, “Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership. The NFL has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”
Papa John’s is the official pizza of the NFL and Schnatter is a well known Trump supporter and donor. During his call, Schnatter went on to say that the continued protests by NFL players and failure of NFL leadership to manage the situation that “The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country.”
Papa John’s stock is down 12 percent since the protest started by Colin Kaepernick has been repeated across the nation by athletes, music artists, and average citizen’s that even include kids at sporting events. But Schnatter is missing the issue entirely by stating that is a national anthem issue. The national anthem protests are a social justice issue. It is about the treatment of Black Americans at the hands of police and lack of action by officials from the local to the federal level. It shows that wealthy White businessmen like Schnatter do not understand the plight that has affected persons of color across America. The fact that Schnatter has stated his business is suffering because of protests is a good thing, it means the protests are working. In fact, by making his statements about the NFL protests he may spark a boycott by people of color ordering a Papa John’s pizza until he wakes up and recognizes that social justice is the issue not the national anthem.