Former Papa John’s CEO: Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder wanted me to get Roger Goodell fired

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In 2017, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tried to take out Commissioner Roger Goodell. It was obvious as it was happening. Nearly five years later, a prominent businessmen Jones tried to recruit for the effort has added some more details to the story.

Appearing last month for an interview with Jason Whitlock, via, former Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter claimed that Jones and Washington owner Dan Snyder wanted Schnatter to try to get Goodell fired in 2017, specifically for the manner in which Goodell was handing the national anthem controversy. (Jones also was upset about the suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott.)

“Snyder and Jones hate Goodell,” Schnatter said. “I said, ‘No, this is not my job to fire your Commissioner. He works for you.’ Remember, Goodell is a coward, and he is incompetent. And he’s just lucky. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, Indra Nooyi [former CEO] with PepsiCo, and Dan Snyder all called me — several other folks — about Goodell’s conduct and the way he was handling this. Jones and Dan Snyder . . . wanted Goodell fired. This is like . . . the first of November, end of October. They called and said, ‘You need to take this guy out. You’re the number one sponsor of the league, as far as notoriety and acceptance and association. Everybody loves you, they love Peyton [Manning, a Papa John’s franchisee and sponsor]. We hate Goodell.'”

Schnatter also claimed during the interview that Snyder called Goodell a “drunk, and yet we pay him $50 million a year.”

“I said, ‘No. This is not my job to fire your Commissioner,'” Schnatter said. “‘He works for you. I just sell pizzas. I have a family of small businesses that, you know, probably 35 percent of our spend’s NFL, it’s down 20 percent. This behavior of not addressing the issue to the owners’ and players’ satisfaction is causing me and my franchisees a lot of problem. And this is going on now for two seasons. . . . I had a free shot from two owners to go after Goodell personally. I didn’t go after him in a vicious, venomous way. I just said, ‘Hey, grow up, be a leader, and fix the problem so my small business owners stop taking it on the chin.'”

Schnatter did indeed do that, on November 1, 2017. In a conference call regarding the company’s poor earnings for the third quarter of the year, Schnatter said of Goodell, “Good or bad, leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership. This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

As reported at the time, some believed Jones put Schnatter up to it. Indeed he did, as Schnatter’s more recent comments make perfectly clear.

Two days after Schnatter criticized Goodell in 2017, Jones had a chance to distance himself from the remarks. Instead, Jones said this: “I am a joint owner of the businesses of 120 Papa John’s stores here in Texas. And John Schnatter is one of the great Americans.”

Things got ugly for Jones. Some owners talked about initiating the procedure to force Jones to sell the Cowboys. Eventually, Jones backed off. Goodell got a contract extension that Jones had been trying to block. Schnatter stepped down as CEO of Papa John’s. Jones eventually paid more than $2 million for legal fees incurred as a result of litigation threats Jones had made. Life in the NFL moved on.

The incident earned a chapter in Playmakers. That chapter would have been a lot spicier if it had included the more recent comments from Schnatter. Given the NFL’s current scrutiny of Snyder, Schnatter’s comments may provide the foundation for a chapter in Playmakers 2.

72 responses to “Former Papa John’s CEO: Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder wanted me to get Roger Goodell fired

  1. All right, I misread the story, can’t delete my comment, but Papa John is still contemptible

  2. Sounds like Jones and Snyder threw a hissy fit because they weren’t getting their way. Now Snyder is on the chopping block and Jones has been made to fall in line. Yeah…Gooddell must be SO hated by the ownership. :eye roll:

  3. Hate to agree with him, as all of the players mentioned are horrible people but Schnatter was right. Goodell if he needed to go, it was the owners issue to deal with it, Jones and Snyder tried to throw big rocks and hide their hands. Spineless. 70’s, 80’s and 90’s both of those franchises made major news, on the field. Now its all off the field. Paternity, sexual harassment, cheating, showing your teams draft board…all this year.

  4. Problem is, even if Schnatter is telling the truth he has no credibility, consequently he looks like a pot-stirrer begging for attention. And what could a Papa John’s CEO have done to get Goodell fired? Put even better ingredients in their pizzas? “Be a leader to solve my franchises” is all that jumps out at me.

  5. The incident earned a chapter in Playmakers. That chapter would have been a lot spicier if it had included the more recent comments from Schnatter. Given the NFL’s current scrutiny of Snyder, Schnatter’s comments may provide the foundation for a chapter in Playmakers 2.
    So you didnt actually have the majority of the details, likely didnt contact Schnatter or vet ymthe details of your story a d your solution is to double down with a new chapter of lies…BRILLIANT!

  6. Yet, Snyder and Jones wanted to cheat the Pats and frame Brady due to jealousy.

    Get rid of all of them, as one is just as bad as the other. That’s why they clash.

  7. The NFL is getting more like a Jerry Springer episode every week.. EVERYDAY a different person is leaking dirt for self gain ect..and Jerry’s part is more like a Maury episode.. JERRY, you ARE the father!!

  8. Recall that Goodell popped both the Cowboys and the Commanders for doing what was legal at the time. Disgraceful on Goodell’s part. A bully. Beyond that, I don’t believe anything Pappa John says.

  9. Dude has absolutely zero credibility, yet you run with this story? What’s next, an inside story from the My Pillow guy??? In this world full of in-your-face liars, Schnatter is at the top of the list.

  10. No reasonable person would take anything Schnatter says at face value. He has been known to lie to inflate his own importance. Not that Jones isn’t comfortable in the muck.

  11. Goodell is too good at his job to lose it and the commentary here will continue to prove that out.

    Everybody hates Goodell… for all the terrible things done by the owners.

    He’s their fall guy. Their stooge. They do whatever they want, and then the whole world crucifies Goodell for it.

    And he’s unlikeable enough that people continue to do it, even after they’ve come to understand this. He is that good.

  12. Yet he turned out to be the one fired haha. No one cares about you or papa johns

  13. Schnatter is a narcissist. Probably Jones and Snyder told him they didn’t like Goodell, the end. In Schnatter’s diminished world he has two NFL owners telling him that he personally can “take out” Goodell? Unlikely that this conversation happened the way he now grandly reports. And let the record show, I don’t like any of these people.
    Papa Johns pizza also stinks.

  14. Papa Johns is great pizza if you like spending a lot of time in bathrooms.

  15. This had nothing to do with the Anthem. During the lockdown, both Washington and Dallas were playing fast and loose with the cap, and they later got in trouble for it. Then the issue with Ezekiel Elliot. This was the real catalyst, not the Anthem. Now, I see why emails from the Commanders got released. Wouldn’t surprise me if some of these communications were done via email and the commish got a hold of it, and also used it to get rid of Gruden.

  16. Being from Louisville, can attest that papa john is pretty much widely known as blowhard scum bag

  17. As a Cowboys fan, I’m so tired of the Jones’ attitude and ineptitude. Arrogant, incompetent, and continues to place sales over winning. Thought it would be better if Stephen took over but he’s looking worse than his old man

  18. I haven’t ordered Papa John’s in years. Local pizza shops are way better.

  19. They should have used Godfathers pizza instead if they wanted a Don Corleone type hit. This constant tattletale junk is getting old.

  20. Jones and Snyder make up 2 of the 3 things that suck most about the NFL.
    #1 is overrated belicheat

  21. The NFL should produce a show and air it every day in mid-afternoon. Call it, “As the NFL Churns”. All the dysfunction has turned the league into a soap opera.

    Episode 1, Jerruh tries to slip something into Roger’s drink. Dan waits for Roger in the parking garage intending to run Roger down but the cheerleader in the car with him talks him out of it. Meanwhile Mark Davis is trying to seduce his hair stylist.

  22. Does this mean Jones and Snyder are buddies? Or did they just have a common enemy?

  23. Goodell’s a terrible commissioner. NFL football has become less fun to watch under his term as commish. Most of the fan base wants him gone too.

  24. If you really knew what goes on. Smh. The new book should be From The Outside Looking In.

  25. The NFL will soon have a reality TV channel for all the non football shenanigans.

  26. Jerry Jones is the head of some powerful committee within NFL owners. He does not need a pizza joint owner to help him

  27. Now I know why they extended the season, so there will not be as much time for the NFL to make themselves look silly.

  28. Anyone else getting tired of the constant spamming of Playmakers? The spam is so ever-present that I won’t buy it based on spam alone.

  29. Why is everyone so hard on Goodell? I could care less about the behind-the-scenes stuff the product on Sunday morning is great (unless you’re a Jets fan), it’s the most popular sport in America and his bosses have a license to print money. Sounds like he’s doing his job. You try managing the egos of 30+ billionaires.

  30. Goodell will outlast all these guys. America loves the NFL. Millions of fans love Roger Goodell. He’s been able to guide the league through all kinds of controversies and continue to rake in billions for the owners, while presenting America and the world with the best entertainment in the universe. Haters sometimes win, but not always. A lot of people hate freedom too, even if they try to wrap themselves in the flag. Goodell has successfully steered the ship through a big puddle of crap and came out smelling like a rose. The Papa John’s guy fell in the pond. Snyder has one foot out of the boat, and Jerry Jones is still kicking. A lot of people are trying to fight the Civil War again, but they haven’t succeeded. America has always won. Hopefullly those who hate America and its freedoms will continue to lose.

  31. Amazing how quickly villains will turn on other villains, exposing private conversations like this. What happened to honor among thieves?

  32. It’s really saying something that I find Goodell to be the one I hate the least out of this group, and I REALLY dislike the Commish.

  33. Weird, the point that fascinates me the most in all of this is that Jones was actually working or colluding with Snyder on something. I can see why NFL owners would pal up to Jones given his power and status, but I was under the impression that the NFL owners, including Jones, thought Snyder was a useless dweeb.

  34. Jerry came to Dallas just trying to keep his family fed and ended up doing Dallas much better than Debbie ever could.

  35. The Cowboys and Commanders have gutless owners that don’t know what they’re doing. Did anyone expect anything less?

  36. Five years later Snyder is about to lose his team and the Papa John’s guy is a social pariah.

  37. I don’t like or respect Schnatter but I still believe this could largely true.

    And it goes with what I’ve been saying for years about Goodell’s compensation: Who is the NFL competing against for him? What other company would pay Goodell even $5M a year? For such supposedly smart business owners, it is stupid deal.

  38. Remember, Schnatter is the guy who cried about being forced to go to therapy to learn how to stop saying the N word.

  39. Lol Goodell is a drunk, I can definitely believe that. Papa John is right in the Goodell got lucky falling into that job. Making 50 million to make a few comments and take the or hit for the rest of the league which is basically having crafted responses written for him. There is a reason why Goodell gets booed at the draft every year, he’s emabarrsssingly overpaid and everyone knows it.

  40. Schanatters lack of credibility, without mentioning billionaires wanting to send a pizza guy to fire a guy they pay, is totally on display every time he talks about his corporate cardboard pizza facory as “ a family of small businesses”

  41. I’d have to think pretty hard to come up with 3 sleazier human beings than Dan Snyder, Jerry Jones, and that Pizza Creep. Prob need to dip into D1 college basketball and pull out a Rick Pitino to even come close to that level of sleaze.

  42. I hate pizza, it’s for lazy fat people and isn’t even good. I eat Rock Cod Tacos. Surfer food. So there.

  43. Certainly nothing Bad will happen with the Cowboys from now until the end of Goodell’s tenure. Right?

  44. Yet, in some form, the Saints will get penalized or fined as a result of this article. Too bad Dom and Jerry failed to get this done.

  45. Shatter is right. Goodell chose to go with the “woke”. Completely tone deaf to his fan base.

  46. This has to be the most hilarious story I’ve read on PFT all year. Pizza boy seeking revenge after ousted by the board. I’m sure all of its true. Which is even MORE HILARIOUS.

  47. Goodell should go, he’s a terrible commissioner. He needs to be fired immediately.

  48. Goodell’s job is to take the blame for every thing gone wrong in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, but nothing for whats good.

  49. This seems to be the NFL today. Not the game but the finger pointing the bad guys, the continued accusations after you took the money and now unhappy attitude.

  50. And after hearing about Jones trying to get him fired, Goodell drove his car into Jerry’s car.

  51. If you look back over the last few years you can see that the NFL is becoming a sad reflection of our sick society. It’s become Jerry Springer-like. They will do anything to stay in the news, while demonstrating all the social justice ills, whether it’s race, sex, orientation and gender, politics etc. on top of the periodic bad behavior. It didn’t used to be like this, but I guess they feel they have to keep up with the younger set which will inevitably be their fan base, with the requisite lower attention spans and easily programmed and distracted minds. I’m not throwing stones or yelling get off my lawn. These are real world problems created by the rise of portable personal computers and social media. Just ask the people who designed it. They won’t even let their own kids on it. Would the NFL be as profitable if they just stuck to playing football and stayed out of all the other stuff? Maybe not.

  52. WOW Papa John after getting run out as CEO of Papa John’s is now trying to be relevant again and get another 15min of fame?

    This guy just a narcissist telling tall tales! Is there a single person that’ll back his story?

    When someone comes out with stories like this and no proof it’s just a “he said, he said” story like Flores & Hue false claims.

  53. “Is there anyone likable in or around the NFL anymore?”

    I’m not sure there ever was, once you find out the things they do that they try to keep secret.

  54. Just an attempt from someone who is no longer relevant trying to get back into the limelight….

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