Papa John himself slammed NFL leadership on Wednesday, blaming the organization for lackluster sales at his pizza restaurants in the third quarter.
John Schnatter, the founder and CEO of Papa John's, said the league and its leadership "hurt" the company by not resolving the player protests that have been taking place during the National Anthem.
"The NFL has been a long and valued partner over the years, but we are certainly disappointed that NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties," Schnatter said during an earnings call Wednesday. "This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago."
Papa John's, which has been the official pizza of the NFL since 2010, said the combination of declining NFL viewership and negative consumer sentiment associated with the league caused sales in the third quarter to slump.