Over the last few weeks, the NFL anthem protests really haven’t been in the news much. The whole controversy has taken a backseat to the continually unfolding Weinstein and Hollywood sex abuse scandals and various media narratives about Trump and Russia.
But that doesn’t mean the issue has gone away, just that we’re sort of in a ceasefire at the moment. This week, however, one of the NFL’s biggest sponsors has come out and signaled against comments made by the CEO and founder about the anthem protests.
As reported at the New York Post, pizza chain Papa Johns’ apologized Tuesday for comments made by CEO John Schnatter, who recently blamed the NFL and the ongoing anthem protests for the company’s poor sales numbers this season.
In a complete reversal, Papa John’s sent out a 3-tweet apology, backing the right of players to protest.
It was during an earnings call two weeks ago when Schnatter bashed kneeling players and league officials for not taking steps to mitigate the controversy. The CEO said, “Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership. The NFL has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”
Schnatter added, “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago. The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country.”
The mea culpa tweets from the company were dictated in the exact corporate-speak that one would expect. “The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive. That was definitely not our intention,” Papa John’s tweeted.
“We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players’ movement to create a platform for change. We also believe, as Americans, we should honor our anthem There should be a way to do both.”
The pizza maker concluded with, “We will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward. Open to ideas from all. Except neo-nazis.” The chain then used an emoji for the middle finger followed by, “those guys.” Wow, so brave calling out neo-nazis.
Although completely unrelated, it seems they were trying to earn some street cred by calling out the overblown menace and favorite boogeyman of the Left. Funny how nobody ever says similar things about communists, despite the tens of millions of bodies and hundreds of millions of folks that suffered under the ideology over the last century.
Regardless, this about-face isn’t going to win them any points from conservatives. What’s worse than going from neutral to the Left’s side is when companies dare commit wrong-think on an issue, but then tuck tail and beg for forgiveness soon after. It’s cowardly and does nothing but make them look wishy-washy.
Left-wing companies aren’t afraid to slander half the nation, yet apolitical businesses can’t even express their views without being beaten into submission. Well, the primary problem is that too many have let the Left do just that, and now they wield that power like a giant cudgel to keep people in check. It’s about time for folks and companies to not be cowed by limp-wristed, keyboard warrior leftists. Say what you believe and stand by it.
Source: New York Post