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Papa John’s: Try Better Morals, Better Leadership

Yesterday Papa’s John’s released some bullshit a statement to kinda sorta but not really apologize for stupid and divisive comments founder and CEO John Schnatter made concerning Papa John’s earnings as related to the NFL protests led by now blackballed quarterback and GQ Citizen of the Year, Colin Kaepernick. Instead of understanding the protests and taking responsibility as most great leaders do, Schnatter decided to blame the NFL protests saying, “The NFL has hurt us. We are disappointed the NFL, and its leadership didn’t resolve this.”


The backlash was swift as news of Schnatter’s comments swept across the internet. Even more disturbing, the alt-right which is just a nice word for racists said that Papa John’s was the official pizza of their brand.  I posted several times on Twitter asking when Papa John’s was going to denounce this statement, but instead, Papa John’s was busy making jokes about Digiorno’s pizza instead of understanding the severity of what was happening all around them.


It was all fun and games and jokes until that bottom line came in and Papa John’s realized this wasn’t just going to blow over.

Days went by and then weeks when finally yesterday, Papa John’s released some bullshit this statement:

“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,” Papa John’s said Tuesday. “That definitely was not our intention. We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players’ movement to create a new platform for change. We also believe together, as Americans, we should honor our anthem. There is a way to do both.We will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward,” Papa John’s continued. “Open to ideas from all. Except neo-nazis — (middle-finger emoji) those guys.”

Since Papa John’s claims they are “open to ideas from all,” there are several points I want to make about this statement:

  1. THE FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD! A real mark of leadership is to OWN THE PROBLEM! As the CEO, Schnatter does not have the luxury of just being on TV or making a video when he wants to sell pizza. Schnatter should have made a VIDEO response to address this issue. Having a social media employee or intern post the statement and then take the heat from the responses is not the mark of a leader. Schnatter created the problem, Schnatter needs to fix the problem.
  2. THE PROTEST IS NOT ABOUT THE ANTHEM! In the statement, Papa John’s mentions the anthem proving that this company does NOT understand the nature of the protest. The protest is not and has NEVER been about the anthem. The protest has always been about bringing awareness to police brutality and injustice. Schnatter’s buddy Trump worked desperately to rewrite the narrative and make it about the anthem and birds of a feather tend to flock together, so Schnatter quickly jumped on this theme. By continuing to push this false narrative shows that Papa John’s does not understand why someNFL players are protesting or refuses to speak the truth about why NFL players are protesting.
  3. TAKE A STAND AGAINST RACISM. Making a Twitter post giving Neo-Nazi’s the emoji finger means nothing. Coming out and directly saying, “We denounce statements made that we are the official pizza of the alt-right,” means something. Because you failed to do that and think posting a cartoon hand giving a derogatory gesture to the “alt-right” solves your problem shows a lack of concern and complete incompetence. Not making a definitive statement allows us to question which side you are on or perhaps you believe there are good people on both sides?
  4. STOP BLAMING OTHERS! Papa John’s spokesman, Peter Collins said, “We should have followed our gut from the beginning, but followed advice not to speak up -it’s time we are clear.” WHO THE FUCK GAVE YOU THAT ADVICE?  You could have paid one of the ENDLESS people online, that told you that failing to respond was a STUPID IDEA!  You do not let issues like this linger, address them head-on. Because you did not do that, we question your sincerity. Is this REALLY about being apologetic or has Papa John’s finally realized being divisive and associated with racists is not lucrative?
  5. DO SOMETHING! If Papa John’s is really open to working with people, START RIGHT IN LOUISVILLE AND DO SOMETHING! There are organizations that are working towards justice that can use your finances, African American people that specialize in marketing that need jobs and CLEARLY Papa John’s needs help in that department. There are people that you can hire to work with your staff from the TOP DOWN on how to be a company that honestly represents being inclusive.  If you REALLY want ideas, contact me. This is just the tip of the iceberg!

If you take nothing from this blog Papa John’s, one piece of advice I would offer you is to focus on having BETTER MORALS AND BETTER LEADERSHIP then focus on your pizza. 



2 replies »

  1. Hmmm idk, they might have to focus on their ashy ass pizza first, it’s clear they don’t give a hell by the crusty (no pun intended) pizzas they be delivering to yo house. LOL. But on a serious note…. yes. This whole episode was white mediocrity at its finest. The most mediocre have the loudest mouths. Talking about absolutely nothing that makes sense.

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