Papa John's apologizes for criticizing NFL anthem protests

By The Associated PressFeaturesAssociated Press

Papa John's Pizza apologized Tuesday night for comments made by CEO John Schnatter blaming sluggish pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based company is a major NFL sponsor and advertiser, and Schnatter said on an earnings call on Nov. 1 that "NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders" and that the protests "should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago."

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The company tweeted a statement offering to "work with the players and league to find a positive way forward."