Papa John's says National Football League protests are hurting sales

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In his 2017 book "Papa: The Story of Papa John's Pizza", Schnatter argued that regulations are steering the U.S. away from the system of free enterprise he believes is crucial to the nation's success.

President Trump has been critical of NFL players who kneeled during the anthem, and repeatedly called for the league to fire players who participate in the protests. "The NFL has hurt Papa John's shareholders".

Schnatter lost $70 million, which Forbes described as "Papa John Loses Dough", after his company's stock took a dive over bad sales numbers this week. Many were offended to boycott the Papa John's franchise.

Papa John's founder John Schnatter says the NFL's inability to deal with the situation has "hurt us", adding he is "disappointed the National Football League and its leadership did not resolve this".

They praised Schnatter for distancing the pizza brand from the NFL.

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago".

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DiGiorno Pizza then followed up that tweet with a response that specifically called out Papa John's - and implied the chain's pizza tastes like "dog s--". He indicated the company would be cutting spending on National Football League advertisements.

Sporting News dumped some extra hots on the story, trying to link Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to the Papa John's move.

On the other hand, Business Insider reported that CEO of Pizza Hut's parent company Yum Brands, Greg Creed, told investors on Thursday, November 2, that "we're not seeing impact on any of that on our business".

The NFL declined to comment on Schnatter's comments and sponsors' pressure to end the protests.

Many on the right rallied around Papa John's and Schnatter following his comments. And KFC, which like Pizza Hut is owned by Yum Brands, hopes to double delivery sales at the fried chicken chain to $2 billion by 2020.

Papa John's shares fell as much as 13 percent Wednesday, the most in two years according to Bloomberg News, as same-store sales increased 1 percent during its third quarter compared to a 5.5 percent increase during the same time last year.

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