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Papa John's is evaluating its NFL sponsorship amid declining ratings and player protests

  • Papa John's is reconsidering its sponsorship of the NFL amid declining television ratings for the sport.
  • Papa John's founder John Schnatter slammed NFL leadership this week for not resolving the issue of players kneeling during the national anthem.

Papa John's is reconsidering its sponsorship of the NFL amid declining ratings, the pizza chain confirmed to CNBC.

Papa John's executives told The Wall Street Journal that top executives discuss returns on their advertising dollars with the NFL weekly and will see what happens for the rest of the season before making a decision. Additionally, Papa John's is completely rethinking its advertising strategy as consumers cut the cord and move to digital.

"We are anxiously awaiting a solution to be created. That's what will put the league in a positive place for the players, the fan base and the partners associated with them," Papa John's president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie told The Wall Street Journal.

The pizza delivery chain has put some of the blame for the declining ratings on player protests of police brutality during the national anthem.

Papa John's founder John Schnatter slammed NFL leadership on Wednesday for not resolving the kneeling protests. He blamed the NFL for lackluster third-quarter pizza sales as the company's stock sank 11 percent.

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