Papa John’s CEO Steps Down After NFL Flap

The Associated Press reports:

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter will step down as CEO next month, about two months after he criticized the NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players — comments for which the company later apologized.

Schnatter will be replaced as chief executive by Chief Operating Officer Steve Ritchie on Jan. 1, the company announced Thursday. Schnatter, who appears in the chain’s commercials and on its pizza boxes, remains chairman of the board. He is also the company’s biggest shareholder.

Earlier this year, Schnatter blamed slowing sales growth at Papa John’s — an NFL sponsor and advertiser — on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had kneeled during the anthem to protest what he said was police mistreatment of black men, and other players started kneeling as well.

Last month a neo-Nazi site named Papa John’s their “official pizza” because of Schnatter’s anti-NFL rants.

  • JT

    Papa don’t preach!

    • Treant

      Dear Papa John:

      We have to talk….

  • BeaverTales

    Still crappy pizza for more money than it’s worth. If it’s the best pizza in your community, you should probably move to another city or town.

  • Gigi

    Papa John’s is shite pizza. I can’t believe anyone orders this crap. This douche should have stepped down a long time ago.

  • greenmanTN

    Well bless his heart…

  • Todd20036

    And remember folks, Johnnie wasn’t fired the day after he made the comments.

    He was fired after weeks of declining sales as most people voted with their feet.

    Their pizza isn’t great, and this was probably the last straw for a lot of people.

    In other words, it wasn’t the bigotry that got Papa fired, it was the declining profits.

  • Ninja0980

    Politics aside, Papa John’s pizza tastes like crap and I can’t believe anyone buys it.

    • vorpal

      I don’t entirely hate it, but here in Chile where I live, all but one of the local pizza places are pretty sub-par, and of all the major pizza chains that are available here, Papa John’s is the best. (Pizza Hut, which I like in Canada and the US, is inedible.)

      Bonus: cat furniture approved.

      • BearEyes

        so sorry to hear about the lack of pizza there.

        • vorpal

          We often just make our own, which turns out really well.
          Papa John’s is just for when we’re both feeling incredibly lazy and need a massive calorie fix.

          • BearEyes

            Home-made works. We’ll make deep dish from time to time just for something different.

      • 1) D’aw, cats.

        2) I usually make pizza when we have it. My wife likes Korean BBQ on it, which you can’t really find at chains here in the US (though you can in Taiwan and other places).

        • vorpal

          =whiskers twitch=
          Korean BBQ pizza? Your wife is a lucky person!

          • I do try to make stuff that she likes, though I like homemade pizza too.

            I don’t like egg salad, but she does, so I make it for her. ^_^

        • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

          What do you call that? Bulgogizza?

          • Usually just pizza, but I like that suggestion!

          • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

            I had bulgogi last week. I just love Korean cuisine, even spicy kim chee. And them little fish, I could eat a whole school of ’em!

      • Treant

        So sorry to hear about the lack of cat furniture there.

        • vorpal

          There are never enough bizarrely uncomfortable surfaces for them to find to sleep on.

      • RobynWatts

        “No! Under no circumstances, don’t eat this disgusting mess!”

      • Prost Seattle

        What is on your shelf in the background that looks like two shallots humping?

        • vorpal

          Two pigs humping :-).
          (Yes, for real. The husband and I call each other, “Pig,” not as a sexual thing but as a cutesy nickname type thing. Someone bought that for us as a joke.)

          • Prost Seattle

            Men ARE pigs, but I love the taste of bacon.

    • Gustav2

      When your sales of any crappy product is based just on adverts, one bad PR move can destroy your bottom line.

  • motordog

    Football…football…that’s the one that uses the ball with the two points, right?

  • canoebum

    To call this guy a turd would be an insult to excrement. Good riddance. On the other hand, with all his free time and money, he’ll probably decide to run for the Senate.

  • BlackGayVeganAtheist
    • Matt G, Rochester

      Love Little Caesars Italian Cheese Bread, but a##hole franchisees around here don’t keep it “Hot ‘N’ Ready”, and I’m not waiting 15 minutes for “fast food”.

    • Goodboy

      Makes you wonder how people can be so dense supporting that Nazi motherfucker and his shitty pizza.

  • vorpal

    Get your earplugs to prepare for the conservative shrieking about how we liberals are supposedly jackboot fascists.

    • And more NFL boycotts.

    • Bambino

      They can sell their guns and ammos to support the cardboard pizza all they want. It’s Murica.

    • Bluto

      Funny, it was the conservatives call to boycott NFL sponsors over those uppity unpatriotic sons of bitches. Well, we did!

  • Mike

    Yeah sure. Pizza man will “step down” the way Trump has stepped down from his businesses, still getting rich off it, just sitting in a different office.

    Last night on CBS News, Jeff “pussy” Glor said that pizza man is “stepping down” because he’s just so darned sorry for criticizing the kneeling. No, what he’s doing is pretending to be stepping down because his name and face are radioactive now that his authoritarian politics has led to his product being named the official pizza of nazis and white supremacists. Apparently the nazi seal of approval isn’t as good for business as he had hoped.

    • Treant

      Agreed. He won’t be the public face of Papa John’s Bleeding Possum On Toast. However, he’s not giving up his share in the company, and he sure won’t be moving out of the ugly castle he lives in.

      My boycott isn’t changing. Which is easily done because the pizza is crap anyway–our local grocery store does far better, cheaper.

      • Mike

        So many of the big, crappy pizza chains are run by ultra-right wing zillionaires, including Papa Gino’s and Domono’s, and I wouldn’t want to support them even if their pizza were good. I say support your local, individually-owned and operated pizzeria. And let’s go back to the pre-cable news era policy of don’t ask, don’t tell when it comes to politics and everyday interactions.

        • MBear

          People: It takes 45min to make a pizza from scratch as long as you keep yeast around. Really.

          No excuse to eat crappy pizza

          • jerry

            Or even just use the pizza crust mixes…though scratch is better, some of the crust mixes are good. (I usually forget to buy yeast when I’m grocery shopping).

          • Bluto

            Or even use a good French bread as crust if one is feeling particularly lazy.

          • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

            Took more than 45 minutes to clean up the dough I threw everywhere trying to make the crust. Ceiling fans! Whatta mess!

          • MBear

            Well, “adult supervision” required. 😉

  • vorpal

    OT: Friday cuteness palate cleanser.

    Our new kitten, Kali, has decided that our second youngest cat, Felix, is her best friend. She will not leave him alone and is constantly pouncing on his tail, creeping up next to him for cuddles, and with squeaks at full volume, playfully running after him wherever he goes.

    He kinda deserves it. He was a total shit disturber when he was a kitten.

    • GayOldLady

      So he’s getting some karma? They’re both beautiful. Thanks for the photo

      • vorpal

        Yeah, but admittedly, Felix being a shit disturber was karma retribution for me because I was (and often still am) a big old brat.

        Glad you enjoyed! It’s amazing how quickly she’s developing and fitting in with the family. Last week, she could barely stand on four legs without falling over. Now she’s bouncing like a mountain goat from one place to the next.

        • misterjack

          My kitty got outside (ran out with the dogs, we think) and she was missing for six heart-breaking days.

          But a neighbor a block away responded to our pleas on Nextdoor, and she came home, yesterday: a Christmas Miracle!

          The little stinker is acting like NOTHING HAPPENED.

          • vorpal

            So glad to hear you got your kitty back!

          • teedofftaxpayer

            Just give a month or so and she’ll be pregnant.

    • Treant

      Somebody likes daddies!

      Our elder dog, as a puppy, decided that our cat was his best friend.

      Our cat disagreed. To no avail.

      • Nichole

        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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      • Charlotte

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    • whollyfool

      AWWWWWWW. I needed that, thanks.

      We have two cats that are best friends. They cuddle up and you can hear the purring across the street. 🙂

    • Ninja0980

      Cute kitties!

    • Cackalaquiano

      I take this as an open invitation to share cat stories. For years, the husband and I had just one fat tabby, a very social fella who could be sort of a bully to other cats. We just moved to a new place and got a bright orange kitty, and they quickly became best buds. They play and wrestle, then settle down while the fatty grooms his little brother. It’s a good little family we’ve got going on here.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Both of them!!

      • Galvestonian

        When a cat shows you that he/she loves you – you are one blessed person. It’s deeper and more meaningful than being slobbered over by a dog. A dog is love full bore, while you earn a cats love and they steal your soul and you bond.

        I am firmly convinced that people that dislike cats were mice in their previous lives.

    • Zeldacat

      Oh my, a tortie kitten. The cuteness is lethal!

      • vorpal

        Our cat that we just lost two weeks ago was a tortie, so she carries on her legacy of the terror that is tortitude.

        We almost got her brother – another black boy (which would make three) – but he was a hissy little ball of claws and teeth, whereas she was scared but gentle, so we ended up taking her home.

        Probably a good call. With two human guys and three male felines, we should have one gal in the house.

    • Palmer

      Kali is a tortie! Just like my Arya. Her colors will intensify as she gets older.

    • Scott MB

      I see you and raise you. This Is three days after our new kitty Sora came into our lives. She is laying with our oldest, Lady Kai Kai. Kai is one of my therapy dogs. Sora and Kai are best friends and will cuddle up together, usually under my blanket, and sleep.

      • vorpal

        Gahhhhh! Too cute! Make it stop!
        (Seriously, that is freaking adorable.)

  • GayOldLady

    When this guy declared his Pizza “the official pizza of the NFL” he thought that gave him some sort of authority over the personal decision of NFL players. This guy is a POS who Lords his wealth around while his employees struggle to survive. He has no sense of mercy or justice and he is incapable of understanding the NFL protesters as men who are taking a stand for themselves, their community and society. I hope his pizza chain goes down the tubes. It’s terrible pizza and he’s a terrible person

    • Ninja0980

      MLB sponsors his pizza too.
      Makes you want to puke.

      • Gah, watching baseball this past season and seeing grand slam home runs being called “Papa Slams” was gross.

    • Gustav2

      Papa John is having a bad day.

      The net worth of John Schnatter, founder and CEO of pizza chain Papa John’s, fell $70 million in less than 24 hours after the company released its third-quarter financial report on Tuesday afternoon. The business beat estimates on earnings and revenue, but it lowered guidance on same-store sales for the coming period.

      Investors were not pleased with that news and sent shares down 11% through 12:30 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday. The stock is now trading at just over $60 per share.

      • GayOldLady

        He deserves it. He stuck his nose into something that was none of his damned business and used his businesses position as his personal battering ram.

        • Gustav2

          but…but …but he paid the NFL owners real money, so he gets to make the rules!!!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!!

    • clay

      It wasn’t he who declared his pizza “the official pizza of the NFL”, it was the NFL that declared it. It’s his wealth that bought the advertising that won that sponsorship. What’s been playing out behind the scenes isn’t just his racist attack on the players, but that he orchestrated it with one of the team owners in order to discredit, and eventually replace, the Commissioner. The NFL isn’t just ditching Papa John’s, it’s also forcing that owner to sell out his interest.

      It’s like Tony Perkkkins, et al., forming the “Moral” “Majority” in the ’70s, or Brian Brown(shirt) and NOM, it’s not actually about us queers, but they’re using their attacks on us to gain political power. How sad for John that he sought power only in the NFL.

      • GayOldLady

        At least they’re both getting some well deserved pay back.

    • Gerry Fisher

      Not the kinda guy you want as “the face of the company.”

  • shellback

    If this is the top story, it means the Dump didn’t die a horribly painful death in the night. Pity.

    • Silver Badger

      It doesn’t have to be horrible. A sigh and a murmur “rosebud” will do just as well.

      • shellback

        Call me a sentimental old fool, but I really want him to suffer.

        • Silver Badger

          Would that be sentimental or vindictive? Either works just fine.

          • shellback

            Point taken. Call it what you will, he deserves the absolute worst for destroying OUR country.

          • Silver Badger

            Much of me agrees with you. The rest of my is reminded of the 7 fold path.

          • TominDC

            It’s not vindictive if you’re wishing for something he has truly earned.

        • Galvestonian

          SUFFER isn’t enough ! It has to be long and drawn out – years and years of total humiliation, poverty, pain, degradation, incontinence, arthritis, leprosy, syphilis, a colostomy bag, bronchitis, ingrown toenails and a constant hangover.

          Plus ugly white trailer trash grandchildren that are constantly in and out of jail and total pain in the ass losers.

          • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

            Maybe we can make him reintarnate as Sarah Palin?

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            That warmed my heart on this cold day in the north

          • Galvestonian

            Yeah … it must be absolute and total – you know like the Chinese torture that involves a thousand cuts — and then douche him with salt and vinegar — lots of pain and make it drawn out. I’d bet that if you put it on ‘pay for view’ we could pay off the National Debt.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            You are good people 🙂

          • Galvestonian

            Thanks babe … I truly hope that you have a very Merry Christmas — a holiday that is festive and gay. Hee- hee !

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            Same to you, friend

      • Treant

        “It was his sled. It was his sled from when he was a child. There, I just saved you two long, boob-less hours.” –Peter Griffin

        • Duh-David

          [SPOILERS] Rosebud’s the sled, Darth Vader’s his father, Tony Perkins is his mother and Jai Davidson is a guy! There now we’re even.

    • Uncle Mark

      Look on the bright side, it means he will probably live to be impeached, dragged kicking & screaming to trials…trying to throw his loyal followers under the bus to save his orange hide, and then stripped of his assets, shamed, reviled, and thrown into jail…where he eventually dies

      • shellback

        You sure do know how to put a positive slant to things.

        • Uncle Mark

          I always bring bitter rays of sunshine wherever I go.

          As for Trump, as horrible as he is, I want him to not only live so he can suffer, but he will enthusiastically drag down the GOP and anyone associated with the Russian collusion. Trump is the kind of whiny baby, who will keep crying, “But what about him; he did (insert treason here) for the Russians?” If Trump drops dead, there will be less impetus to investigate this whole mess, and all the bad actors need to be identified and made an example of.

          • shellback

            The only problem I see right now is that if something isn’t done soon, we may never get back to a sane country.

          • Hryflex

            I like the way you think.

          • Galvestonian

            How do we get him to drop dead ?

      • Galvestonian

        Yeah but he’ll probably shoot up the White House when anyone attempts to impeach him, try to burn the White House down, attempt to call out every branch of the military – convince 28% of the country that it’s a coup and try to start a Revolution to stay in power.

    • motordog

      At this point, I’d even settle for him shuffling off in his sleep…just as long as he’s GONE!

    • Prost Seattle

      Reminds me of a joke:

      What’s the difference between pity and shame?

      A limousine with the Trump family careens off of a cliff. What a pity.

      There were survivors. That’s a shame.

  • Joe in PA

    I read the headline as Pepe Steps Down…

    Need more coffee.

    • Gustav2

      Or a Bloody Mary.

  • Friday’s_cat

    We were eating Pappa John’s when the lights went out. When power was restored part of the box was gone.

  • BlackGayVeganAtheist
    • BearEyes

      14 cents.

      • Friday’s_cat

        Owning a pizzeria is like having a key to the back door at the mint.

        • clay

          . . . but not the basement, never the basement.

  • Daveed_WOW

    Who thinks he has those shirts altered?

  • shellback

    If you don’t like institutional plastic and cardboard “pizza,” maybe give this place a try.

    • Kruhn

      I used to order from a Chinese place called “The Good Ho”.

  • Michael R
  • Frostbite

    Well the NFL flap, and that their stock went from about $90 to $60 in a year.

  • Dave F.

    Haven’t eaten Papa John’s in over 15 years. They had two no longer available specialty pizzas that were pretty good. Then those specials went away and we tried a regular. God awful didn’t begin to describe it. Fortunately there’s a local chain that never disappoints – they only use provolone on their pizzas. They also monitor their franchises to make sure everyone is happy since their name is on the line. We’re lucky to have one of the world pizza competition winners from a few years back in town as well. Good pizza but can’t make a stromboli or calzone to save their lives. He just opened up a new chain – organic ingredients, the dough is proofed for at least 24 hours, they grow herbs in the shops to put on their pizzas and use a wood fired oven.

  • This is just a PR move. He’ll still being doing the same thing as the company before and getting the same compensation. He just lost the title of CEO. Big whoop. Still not eating his shitty slave-labor pizza. He should go to jail for robbing people of their EARNED overtime pay. If I stole that much from him I’d damn sure be in prison now!

  • Boreal
    • Hunter M


  • Paul_in_Dallas

    Anagram: Schnatter ~ Rat Stench

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
  • Bluto
  • cayliffe

    I love the outcome of this story. This is what happens when you smell your own farts for so long you decide they smell like roses. And all your island staff and chauffeur tell you, you are right it smells like roses and yes you make good pizzas and nazis and Jesus would love your pizza and Obama is from Kenya. Haha merry Christmas asshole.

  • WiMountainBear

    Better racism, Better bigotry. Papa Johns…

  • stanhope

    Fuck this guy…he stepped down once before and returned like bad diarrhea. On another front…have you seen Colin Kaepernick shirtless? OMG!! Tom Daly, who several other gay sites like to feature regularly like he is the prize, would need to in Omarosa’s words…..BOW DOWN LOL

  • GanymedeRenard

    First off, I’ll state the obvious, i.e., American pizza is to its Neapolitan counterpart as Taco Bell is to authentic Mexican food. If you like it, perfect, but know that it’s almost like you’re eating a parody of the original.

    Secondly, I don’t consume Papa John’s products (never did, never will do). So, now that I’m aware of the chain’s racist position, I will go as far as to discourage others from eating those greasy edibles.

    Thirdly, Domino’s, up until recently, wasn’t a much better alternative. Its founder, Tom Monaghan, is a staunch Catholic, Opus Dei, anti-gay, anti-choice, and anti-secular activist who founded Ave Maria College – obviously, a Catholic indoctrination center.

    He sold his company to Bain Capital in 1998, but still retains 7% of its share. Bain Capital was co-founded by the dear Mormon Mr. Mitt Romney, equally as bigot. Romney retired from the company back in 2002, but still receives a share of its profits as a retired partner.

    So, next time you order a pizza from Domino’s, bear in mind that you’re contributing to both a Mormon’s and a Catholic’s wealth, both of them anti-queer.

    • 1980Gardener

      “contributing to both a Mormon’s and a Catholic’s wealth”

      – By encouraging discrimination against people based upon their religion, I’m not sure how you are much different than the folks you seek to marginalize.

      • GanymedeRenard

        No. I am DEFINITELY not giving my business to people who ACTIVELY work against MY RIGHTS, full stop! It’s not a matter of religion, it’s a MATTER OF BIGOTRY. Don’t make a false equivalence out of this.

        • 1980Gardener

          So to clarify, you would give your business to other Mormons or Catholics, just not these two?

          • GanymedeRenard

            I wouldn’t give my business who anyone who ACTIVELY works against my rights because of “religious freedom”*.

            *Or because of other equally absurd reasons.

          • 1980Gardener

            You are free to associate with whom you want, but I find such divisions troublesome.

          • GanymedeRenard

            I find discrimination against an oppressed demographic troublesome.

          • 1980Gardener

            I agree…though I think Mormons may be a close 2nd behind LGBT folks (or maybe even the other way around).

      • Maggie 4NoH8

        Ganymede is not discriminating based upon religion. It is the actions and words of individuals that are anti-gay – when those individuals stop hurting me and my family, then I’ll patronize their business(es). Discrimination is wrong period. There are no valid religious reasons to justify discrimination.

        • 1980Gardener

          What is Mitt Romney doing to hurt you and your family? Or the Dominos guy?

  • 1980Gardener

    I’m surprised people characterize what Schnatter said as anti-NFL or as a “rant.” Criticizing an organization’s actions in a specific matter does not make one “anti-” that organization.

    CEOs need to be very careful about espousing any view that may get them on the wrong side of a politically powerful group.

  • Alternative Facts

    I remember this guy was anti-Obama and anti-Obama care.
    So, therefore, fuck him….

  • JCF