All sales are apparently not equal.
That’s the stance pizza chain Papa John’s was forced to take after a white supremacist publication celebrated the pizza company’s criticisms of the NFL’s handling of national anthem protests by players.
“We condemn racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that support it,” said Peter Collins, senior director of public relations at Papa John’s. “We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza.”
Why does a pizza place have to denounce white supremacists?
A blog post on The Daily Stormer referenced Papa John’s as potentially being the “official pizza of the alt-right” after Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter blamed the NFL and anthem protests for declining sales.
“It’s starting to make economic sense to be pro-White,” the post read.
The post made several assertions attempting to connect Papa John’s decision to scale back its NFL advertising relationship with The Daily Stormer’s anti-black sentiments.
What was Papa John’s actual stance?
“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter said. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders. Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.
“This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago. Like many sponsors, we’re in touch with the NFL. Once the issue is resolved, we’re optimistic the NFL’s best years are ahead.”
Papa John’s hasn’t pulled all NFL advertising, but it has removed the NFL logo from advertisements and removed references of being the “official pizza of the NFL.”
From ESPN's Darren Rovell (emphasis added):
"Executives said the company has pulled much of its NFL television advertising and that the NFL has responded by giving the company additional future spots. Later in the day, a spokesman clarified that the spots themselves weren't being pulled, just the NFL shield or "official sponsor" designation on those spots."