In a stunning move, the NFL just lost out on one of its biggest advertisers when the pizza chain Papa John’s pulled its NFL-related advertisements Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The reason is extremely telling. Jonathan Maze, senior financial editor at Nation’s Restaurant News, puts the blame solely on the NFL.

Papa John’s is primarily basing its projected losses on the NFL.

“The NFL has hurt us. We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said via ABC News.

“Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter added, noting he thought the issue had been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago.

This is no small loss for the NFL, if only looking at the sheer volume of pizza commercials inundating your typical NFL viewing.

While small chains and private businesses have been ready to boycott the NFL over the rampant national anthem protests, Papa John’s is the biggest company to take a stance.

The NFL has been in a maelstrom of controversy ever since the beginning of last season, when then-49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick first began kneeling for the national anthem as a form of protest against police brutality and racism.

The movement slowly grew throughout the 2016 NFL season, with various players opting to kneel, sit or raise a “black power” first during the national anthem.

The issue exploded in 2017, however, when President Donald Trump condemned the NFL’s anthem protests in September. The protests spread across the league in direct response to his remarks.

Many Americans find the anthem protests disrespectful. While few would ever deny the right to peaceably protest, many NFL fans feel that the national anthem is neither the time nor the place to have such a discussion.

Papa John’s is the first major chain to truly feel the heat as angry customers are now speaking with their wallets.

As anti-NFL sentiment has now officially hit one of the league’s biggest advertisers, it’ll be interesting to see if Commissioner Roger Goodell finally takes a stand and makes a move.


  1. those millionaire players don’t give a flying f–k about their protests they are already millionaires and I think now its time for the federal to pull their funding for the nfl they’ve shot them selves in the foot young people who are following in the footsteps of their heroes are having a wild effect if theres no nfl then there;s gonna be a lot of kids disappointed no football no future simple as that

  2. I want every game in all sports to read the story how Mr. Key came up with the national anthem, before it is played. It was about Americans losing their lives, to have the flag stay up. The entire British fleet was blasting a fort. They said before hand, if the Americans would lower the flag, they would stop shelling and accept surrender to the British. All night they fired. It wasn’t until the next day that Mr. Key saw what he could hardly believe. Americans died to keep that flag up, over and over again. ITS NOT ABOUT BLACKS. It’s about American heroes who sacrificed their lives. They would be rolling over in their graves if they knew what was happening now. People need to be educated on the story. GOD BLESS AMERICA !!!


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