Papa John’s apologized Tuesday for saying that NFL protests were hurting its sales.
The pizza company, which is the official pizza company of the NFL, tweeted that it was not their intention to make “divisive” comments.
“The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive,” the tweet read. “That definitely was not our intention.”
A company representative said on an earnings call earlier this month that declining viewership of NFL games, due to players protesting racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem, was to blame for their declining sales.
Papa John’s added that they support the players’ right to protest inequality and that they believe there is a way to “create a new platform for change” and “honor our anthem” at the same time.
A third tweet from the company said that going forward, it will work with the NFL and its players to “find a positive way forward,” and is open to ideas from all, “except neo-nazis” – throwing in a middle finger emoji.
The tweets come after the pizza company was forced to condemn white supremacists after a neo-Nazi website endorsed its pizza.
“We condemn racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that support it. We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza,” Peter Collins, the company’s senior director of public relations, told The Courier-Journal last week.
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