How many NFL teams will end their relationship with Papa John’s?

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Plenty of baseball teams have suspended their relationships with Papa John’s in recent days, moves that create real complications and revenue consequences when they happens during baseball season. How many NFL teams will end their relationships with Papa John’s in the aftermath of the full body of founder and former chairman/CEO John Schnatter’s behavior and comments over the past several months?

The Falcons indefinitely suspended the relationship pending further evaluation, a process that in theory could result in all three Papa John’s locations at Mercedes-Benz Stadium being open for business when the Falcons begin playing games there next month, if the evaluation results in a finding that, with Schnatter gone, all is well.

The real question is whether the Falcons, or anyone else, will say based on what already has transpired, “Enough.”

The University of Louisville moved quickly to dump Schnatter from the school’s board of trustees, and to shed “Papa John’s” from the name of the stadium where the football team plays. With the exception of the Falcons, who strongly denounced the racially insensitive comments from Schnatter that came to light this week, the NFL’s teams have been silent on the issue.

Pizza Hut has replaced Papa John’s as the NFL’s official pizza, but multiple teams have relationships with the company, including the Cowboys, whose owner has been silent about the recent controversy engulfing Schnatter. Jones wasn’t silent last year, when Schnatter was (possibly at Jones’ behest) bashing the NFL over its handling of the anthem controversy.

“I am a joint owner of the businesses of 120 Papa John’s stores here in Texas,” Jones said in the immediate aftermath of Schnatter’s notorious conference call during which he blamed the league for reduced earnings for a period of time when the NFL wasn’t, you know, playing games. “And John Schnatter is one of the great Americans. He’s the story of America. He started off in his dad’s bar just doing a pizza with a little oven or microwave, and he’s built that thing into one of the greatest businesses. Papa John’s was named by all of the people that look at the NFL, Papa John’s was named as the product most associated with the NFL and it was named that a year ago by a survey of all of our viewers. So he is quite an American story.”

He’s become a very different kind of American story, a story that some would say has become all too common in the last 18 months. So will the NFL’s teams that do business with Papa John’s acknowledge that and take action? Or will they simply wait for the P.R. storm to subside and continue to make money via their partnership with a product that is (or at least was) so closely associated with the NFL?

And what will the NFL do about any of this? Although it’s not an issue at the league level, the teams are the league. If the league thinks it’s “bad for business” (sound familiar?) to associate with Papa John’s, it can pass that message along to the teams. Unless and until the NFL teams that do business with Papa John’s end the relationship, it can fairly be assumed that the NFL hasn’t sent that message.

55 responses to “How many NFL teams will end their relationship with Papa John’s?

  1. I still have never heard anyone say “hey let’s order Papa John’s”…possibly the worst I’ve ever had and on top of that Schnatter is a huge douche.

  2. Jerry Jones’ silence on the racist stuff isn’t surprising. Birds of a feather.

    As for Papa John’s, the pizza isn’t my favorite. It’s bad. That said, if Schnatter is no longer actively involved in the company’s management, the NFL has no reason to stop doing business with Papa John’s.

    The company had a problem and they fixed it by ousting Schnatter. What else do they need to do?

  3. It is hard to imagine how this guy has so easily facilitated destroying his company.

  4. Besides the fact that they take half the tip of the drivers is enough for me to stop getting it. What is that strange half butter half garlic goo sauce they give you? All these chain pizzas are poo…support the local guy!

  5. Yeah, Peyton’s got like 100 franchises. Were Schnatter to come to a mysterious, untimely demise, authorities will want to confirm Peyton’s whereabouts.

  6. “Yeah, Peyton’s got like 100 franchises.”

    31 … but sold them all earlier this year.

  7. Jerry Jones is right when he says this guy is the story of America. I also think it’s helpful that the way many Americans talk and think behind closed doors is being brought out into plain sight for all to see. It makes us feel good to deny the racist feelings that many powerful Americans have, and these are Americans who hire a lot of people. At least now we can’t really drive through a ghetto and actually believe all the people are just lazy. Now we see how they’re actively being held down. It makes us feel good to think we earned everything we have on a level playing field, but we’re seeing more and more that the field is anything but level (privately, we’ve all known this). Pro sports are a bit more of a level playing field, and so we see the ratio of blacks with good paying jobs is much hire than the rest of society. I actually think this whole issue is very helpful. It just pulls back the curtain a little bit for those of us who have had trouble understanding race relations in America. It is what it is. Most white people are good people, we’ve just been raised to act a certain way in public, but act differently in private. There are millions of John Schnatter’s among us. I’ve lived in every region of the United States. That’s just the way we were raised. You’re not going to flip a switch and fix it overnight, but it’s helpful for those who want to understand what’s really going on. We don’t want to talk about it, and we certainly don’t want to hear about it. Colin Kaepernick wanted to talk about it, and he’s now an unemployed super bowl QB. That message has been sent loud and clear. So don’t be afraid to eat at Papa John’s, if you like their pizza. John Schnatter is one of us. He’s who we see in the mirror. He wasn’t raised any differently than we were. This goes back many generations.

  8. It was a rude and stupid thing to say, but it was one line. He apologized. And even resigned (excessive).

    We are talking about Pizza here… this will be forgotten like yesterday’s garbage in a week. No one is changing their buying habits over a line spoken 2 months ago. That’s realistic.

    The NFL knee jerk reactions to everything today are PR on steroids – no one cares. They may virtue signal and use this for PR purposes but they don’t care.

  9. If the NFL directed the teams to dump Pappa Johns, wouldn’t they be guilty of the same type of conspiracy that Kapernick is claiming?

  10. Too bad they didn’t distance themselves from violent domestic abusers as quickly as some guy who made an out of context mistake that should have ended with a simple apology.

    Is OJ still in the Hall of Fame?

  11. i feel weird being lectured by a guy named john schnatter regarding what is supposed to be good pizza

    I can assure you that many of us feel that way when we see the tag Tylawspicksix so take a breath your outrage needs some perspective.

  12. it should be called papa dookie, cause that’s what their “pizza” tastes like, dookie.

  13. .
    Schnatter is a dope, however he’s already made his millions. The only people being hurt are the franchise owners throughout the country who’ve done nothing wrong.
    .

  14. A lot of the same people who are outraged over Kaepernick’s kneeling are defensive about Schnatter’s racism. They get an A+ for consistency.

  15. Nofoolnodrool says:
    July 14, 2018 at 11:37 am
    i feel weird being lectured by a guy named john schnatter regarding what is supposed to be good pizza

    I can assure you that many of us feel that way when we see the tag Tylawspicksix so take a breath your outrage needs some perspective.
    ————————————————————————-
    Pot, meet kettle.
    And the really funny part of it is you can’t even see the hypocrisy of your statement.

  16. Seems like Papa crapped in his pants and nobody wants to be seen near him. Oh well, at least he knows that he can always count on Jerry Jones.

  17. voyager6 says:
    July 14, 2018 at 11:13 am
    If the NFL directed the teams to dump Pappa Johns, wouldn’t they be guilty of the same type of conspiracy that Kapernick is claiming?

    Up=>28 Down=>11 Rate This
    =================================================================================

    Simple answers to simple questions… NOPE! In fact, Kap was PROTESTING
    everyone’s right to FREE SPEECH. As [Cc]onservatives say, the MARKET
    has spoken. You can be racist and prejudice. PLEASE oh PLEASE don’t be
    a coward and and let everyone know you are and you are done.

  18. “If the league thinks it’s “bad for business” (sound familiar?) to associate with Papa John’s, it can pass that message along to the teams.”

    I agree with everything you say in this article, Mr. Florio, and I’ve always despised Papa John (the man and the business and especially the pizza!). But if the NFL were to “pass that message along to the teams” wouldn’t that be essentially the same thing (collusion) for which Kap and Reid are suing the league?

  19. For quoting someone in history? Wow.

    And yet Superbowl halftime shows are filled with people who spew that word in a FAR worse contexts than just talking about history.

  20. I cant believe we live in a country where saying a certain word can, for all intents and purposes, destroy your life. Only certain races can say certain words…insane. I love America for what it was, not for what its become.

  21. I have no love for this man or his crappy pizza.

    I do have a question. Did he use the racist term in a derogatory/racist manner towards a person or group of people?
    Or did he simply use the term in a context where he was actually speaking out against racism. ….but made the mistake of uttering the word versus saying the “N-Word?”

    If in fact he was speaking out against the word and racism in general but made the error of saying the word…..aren’t we all overreacting?

  22. Pot, meet kettle.
    And the really funny part of it is you can’t even see the hypocrisy of your statement.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence as it shows you don’t like to face the truth . Should i now post as the Pot/kettle of truth?

  23. If they all end their relationship with Papa, does then mean Papa gets to sue the NFL for collusion?

  24. There’s more here than meets the eye. It’a not that simple. Sure, stadiums and clubs can dump Papa John’s all they want. And yes, John Schnatter can be viewed as a racist cretin who deserves everything he gets. But others will be impacted far greater by the decision of clubs and other organizations who dump Papa Johns. Namely the thousands of people who work at the stores, deliver the pizzas, as well as those in the supply chain. The economic impact on these people will be far greater than anything done to Schnatter.

    Yeah, we should call out J.S. and hold him accountable but just remember the Law of Unintended Consequences.

  25. “And John Schnatter is one of the great Americans. He’s the story of America. He started off in his dad’s bar just doing a pizza with a little oven or microwave”

    Microwave pizza ? that explains it all .

  26. I’m not a fan of the pizza but the entire controversy about the racial remark is absurd. Apparently the word is only offensive when conservative white guys say it—regardless of context. If you’re black or a liberal, you can literally call people the word and you’re forgiven or even encouraged.

  27. “Or did he simply use the term in a context where he was actually speaking out against racism…but made the mistake of uttering the word versus saying “The “N-Word”?”

    People who never use the word do not mistakenly utter the word. The word is so abhorrent that any normal person should have no experience with speaking it.

  28. Didn’t this guy say a few years back that he would have to raise the price of his pizza a dime to offer his employees health insurance? he Made this excuse up because of ACA (Obama Care). He is a terrible human being and deserves his downfall!

  29. Very soon, training camps will open and we’ll have football to talk about once again. Hopefully, there will be enough football to drown out all of the “noise” going on in this country…and when I say “noise”, I mean “garbage news” generated by both ends of the political spectrum.

    I feel kind of bad for John Whatever his name is even though he chose foolishly align himself – and then talked about it repeatedly. It’s what happens when multi-millionaire/billionaire business people step outside of their element. They end up looking like fools who can’t tie their own shoelaces.

  30. People are saying that Jerry Jones and Papa John met through their plastic surgeon…at least that’s what I’ve been hearing, everybody knows that. Anybody who says otherwise is obviously a known communist. #icanhazcheezeburger?

  31. mrthirtytwo says:
    It was a rude and stupid thing to say, but it was one line. He apologized. And even resigned (excessive). We are talking about Pizza here…
    ——————

    If you owned a Papa Johns franchise, you wouldn’t be saying this is just about pizza. It’s not about pizza. It’s about business. It’s about money. John Schnatter was the face of Papa Johns marketing until he shot off his mouth claiming that something was impacting pizza sales when there was zero proof directly supporting his claim. His job, first and foremost, was to protect the value of his brand. He blew it. His actions were so bad that he was no longer the fact of the brand.

    This call was intended to help him rehab his image. He blew it. He destroyed his image – made it even worse. I don’t have the numbers, but I’m guessing the value of a Papa Johns franchise has taken a hit. The impact was so bad that the business forced him to step down from his position as chairman of the board. And now the business has a huge problem trying to figure out how to rehabilitate their brand – they will probably have to change the brand name and identity to live through this.

    Businesses like NFL teams, who are distancing themselves from the Papa Johns name, are doing it because being associated with that brand name is bad for their own business.

    It’s not about pizza and it’s not about football. It’s strictly business.

  32. I’d like to see Jones put his money where his mouth is and eat the pizza, tell us how it is after the fact.

  33. Pretty much if ‘jerruh’ supports you you know you’re the wrong guy…..ask his puppet HC.

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