Several sports teams, including the Falcons, have distanced themselves from Papa John’s after it was revealed founder John Schnatter used a racial slur in a May conference call.
But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones won’t follow suit. That’s because he owns a percentage of 50 Papa John’s stores in North Texas, according to Stephen Jones.
“Some teams that I’ve noticed that have addressed the Papa John’s issue by distancing themselves do not have the same relationship that the Cowboys have with the Papa John’s business in Texas,” Jerry Jones said Wednesday. “We own the Papa John’s in Texas and feel strongly that our Cowboys are the face of Papa John’s, and that judgment is warranted by what we’ve done over the last 15 years with Papa John’s. That’s very unfortunate. . . . It’s unfortunate for the company and unfortunate for John. I’m sure if he could do it over again, he’d like do-overs. But the bottom line is the Cowboys and our relationship, we own those stores. It’s not an endorsements. Similar to the way [John] Elway does in Denver.
“The point is: We just want to work real hard. We literally have thousands of people who work in those stores and several thousand customers who want to have the kind of taste in your mouth that you want to have when you have Papa John’s to use a phrase.”
Jones, who last fall called Schnatter “a great American,” said he has not talked to the ousted CEO since Schnatter’s use of a racial slur was revealed. Jones said the Cowboys’ direct ownership with Papa John’s should serve the company well in rebounding in the Texas market.
“When we became involved, Papa John’s wasn’t doing good, so when we became involved we deliberately make the Cowboys more the face of Papa John’s if you recall,” Jones said. “I would rap and break dance and do all that kind of stuff. We used to do that break dancing and the rapping and the phones would just light up all over the place on that. So ours is a little bit different. We’ve got a lot of our face out there.
“I regret that for John. But at the end of the day we’ve got too many people, too many customers . . . that we just need to do as good as we can do under the circumstances. Everybody knows certainly that there’s not bias here relative to the Dallas Cowboys, and so we feel comfortable in going ahead and taking care of our business.”