A statement released by the company reveals that, at the beginning of January, Schnatter will no longer be the chief executive officer. His face appears in Papa John’s commercials and on their pizza boxes, but the world will be seeing a whole lot less of Schnatter due to the bad reputation he’s gained.
A few weeks before his announcement, Schnatter criticized the NFL for the way it handles the continuous national anthem protests. He blames them for the decline in Papa John’s sales. NFL national anthem protests were started by the San Francisco 49ers. Their former quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, kneeled in protest against police mistreatment of black males. The sign of protest is now done by multiple players in several teams. Some U.S. citizens, including president Donald Trump, feel that kneeling during the anthem is a great sign of disrespect while others support the act.
The pizza company is a sponsor and advertiser of the NFL. Schnatter claims that the NFL negatively influenced Papa John’s sales by allowing players to bring politics into the games. “The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country,” he said during a conference call regarding the company’s earnings. He believes that Papa John’s association with the NFL has now lost him customers who have taken sides on the issue.
Schnatter’s comment backfired bigtime. White supremacists show exceptional support for this statement and have dubbed the pizza company to be the official pizza of the Alt-Right movement. If anything is going to negatively influence sales, it’ll be an association with a racist organization.Schnatter’s growing issue leads him to realize that stepping down from his position as CEO is his best statement he could make at the moment.
With Schnatter stepping down, there’s room for another CEO to step up. Celebrity rapper, Lil John placed his name in an unofficial twitter bid to become the new face of America’s beloved pizza chain. A twitter user tagged Lil John in a tweet suggesting he fill in for the job. Lil John responded in all capital letters “I will humbly accept the position as your new CEO.” His tweet gained tons of popularity. The head recruiter of the company added her two cents and tweeted back saying “ “Still waiting on your resume!, Is it a deal breaker if we won’t rename the company Papa Lil Jon’s?”
It looks like a new John is in line for the Pizza throne!